4 Reasons Why the Cavs Struggle Against Western Teams
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Rebounding plagued the Cavs in their Western road trip. Interestingly enough, in the preseason, the Cavs were outrebounded in both of their Western games, the Mavericks and Grizzlies, by at least seven rebounds. Having an advantage on the board is crucial to controlling game pace, fueling the transition game and limiting second chance opportunities for opposition while creating them for our offense. Rebounds are a good indicator of winning basketball games. An advantage of five is usually enough to ensure a W and an advantage of ten nearly guarantees a win. While, contrary to the usual trend, the Cavs were unable to pick up those preseason victories despite holding a strong advantage on the boards. In the regular season that trend has, to the Cavs’ chagrin, proven true. In their two Western wins, the Cavs matched the Nuggets’ 42 rebounds bested the big frontcourt of New Orleans by five rebounds. In their losses, the Trail Blazers outrebounded the Cavs by a margin of seven, and the Jazz by 11. This advantage on the boards is not only a consequence of the overall quality of big men in the Western Conference, but sometimes a consequence of the occasionally lackluster effort shown on the boards by the Cavs’ bigs.