Postgame observations from the Cavs' 113-106 win over the Knicks

Here are some thoughts on the Cavs' seventh victory of the season

James Rapien
December 12, 2018 - 10:55 pm
Dec 12, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova (18) calls a play in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cavaliers beat the Knicks 113-106 on Wednesday night after blowing a 22-point first half lead.

Cleveland improved to 7-21 on the season in their first game without Tristan Thompson, who injured his left foot on Monday. Here are some postgame observations:

A Competitive Team – Don’t look now, but the Cavaliers are 5-7 in their last 12 games. That is an achievement when you consider the distractions they’ve had – injuries, multiple trades, a disgruntled veteran and the youth on the roster. They’re playing two players who were signed on December 2 – Jalen Jones and Jaron Blossomgame. Head coach Larry Drew is doing a good job with what he has.

“We’re playing hard, we’re competing, we’re being competitive and we’re putting ourselves in some pretty good positions,” Drew said after the win. “Games where we’ve come out and not played well and got behind – we’ve fought back in the games.”

Super Sixth Man – This team is at its’ best when Jordan Clarkson provides a spark off the bench. He finished with a season-high 28 points against New York. There will be contending teams who reach out to the Cavs about trading for him. Clarkson is making $12.5 million this year and $13.5 million next season.

The Hood is Clutch ­– Rodney Hood scored the biggest regular season basket of his Cavaliers career against the Knicks. The Cavs blew a six-point lead with two minutes to go. New York took a106-105 lead with 32 seconds left. Hood drove, spun to his left and made the go-ahead bucket out of a timeout. That put the Cavaliers ahead for good. Hood finished with 23 points, but none were bigger than those two.

Delly’s Back and Better Than Ever – Matthew Dellavedova is adored by Cleveland. He received plenty of cheers all night long. Sure, Cavs fans think about the good old days when Delly was harassing Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals, but he also gave them plenty to cheer about on Wednesday night. Delly started 3-3 from three-point range and finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“He was everywhere,” Larry Nance said. “It was not even the stuff he did on the court, obviously he played really well – shot threes, hit big free throws, played Delly defense, but the energy the crowd provided while he was on the court making those plays and being involved was a major boost to us.”

Dellavedova’s presence is big for this club. It’s hard to describe, but some people have the ability to lead. He is one of those people. I watched Nance’s face light up when he was asked about Delly after the game. His teammates love him, the fans love him and he delivered on Wednesday night.

“It’s definitely cool for him to be back and it’s definitely dope to get that love,” Clarkson said. He did great things here and he won a chip so that’s awesome.”