The Cavs sweep it all

Wipe out what you see, and don’t be generous“. It is the phrase that Captain Jack Sparroy and his inseparable companion of adventures, Joshamee Gibbs, always said in the saga Pirates of the Caribbean. And it seems to be the motto of the Cavaliers 2021-22: a cheeky, revolutionary, huge and entertaining team. Charismatic, fun, extraordinary and modern. The quintessence of the collective, of the old glories that have recovered the special shine in their eyes, the young promises who point out ways and those players who are now the mentors of what they once represented themselves. The Cavs monopolize, in these moments, the desire for freedom, for emancipation from their own history, from the fight against the impossible; of knowledge, of power, of duty. Of the desire to win and to learn. TAll that is the Cavaliers, who have swept the Raptors as they try to end their brief hiatus due to coronavirus, postponement included, and return to that winning streak that they were having until the pandemic forced them to stop. Because, so far, only the pandemic has managed to stop them.

The Cavaliers are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 20-13 record. The Sixers, sixth, are three games away, the same ones that separate the Ohio entity from the first place occupied by the Nets. In between, from second to fourth place, Bulls, Bucks and Heat. All of them, front and back, have theoretically superior rosters, more pound-for-pound talent, better coaches, bigger stars and, of course, more chances to win the ring. However, what seemed like a mere temporary good start that was going to happen when the injuries and difficulties arrived has been something else: the Cavs survived the absences, including that of Evan Mobley, they have resisted (for now) the coronavirus, they have not been made small before those who supposedly were bigger and resist in the upper part of a Conference in which there are many who are wrong and only a few who are right. Among them, of course, the Cavaliers.

Right now, the Cavaliers are the best defense in the Eastern Conference and the second best in the NBA, behind only the Warriors. They are also ninth in shooting percentage of 2, eighth in free throw percentage and eighth in assists.. In addition to having the fourth best net rating in the League after Warriors, Suns and Jazz. Quite an achievement that they have taken to a new dimension against the Raptors, against whom they have given a defensive display (99 points for the Canadians) … and offense: 22 triples made, up to 52 attempts, 52 rebounds, 39 assists, 12 robberies and 144 points with almost 53% accuracy in the shot. An extraordinary way to end the weak resistance of their rivals, full, it must be said, of casualties due to coronavirus And for what is not coronavirus: OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, Isaac Bonga, Malachi Flynn, Fred VanVleet, Khem Birch, Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam are offside for Nick Nurse’s team. Something that weighs too much.

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Beyond the game itself, from which you can’t get much more (the Cavs won each and every one of the quarters and scored 46 points in the third), The Raptors didn’t have many positives beyond Chris Boucher’s 21 goals and Yuta Watanabe’s 26, with 13 rebounds.. In those of Ohio, who have renewed their coach, JB Bickerstaff, until 2027 (Christmas gift for his good work), there was everything: 20 points from Lauri Markkanen, 17 from Dean Wade, 22 + 9 (with 6 of 9 on 3s) from a resurrected Kevin Loven, a starter for the first time of the season; 22, with 8 assists, from Darius Garland, 16 + 2 + 6 + 3 from Ricky Rubio (who also jumped from the start), 17 + 9 from Denzel Valentine, in addition to some points, and a field shot from each of the 12 players who entered the court at some point. almost everyone participates in the rotation with Bickerstaff, which certifies what was already known: These Cavs are the best there has been in the 21st century without LeBron James. And yes, that wasn’t really difficult. But we were not talking about the ideal template to achieve what resembles a whole feat. Now the most difficult thing is missing: continue like this for the remainder of the season. In other words: top off.

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