Due to ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has decided to suspend the 2019-20 regular season.
At 19-46, the Cavs have struggled to find a rhythm. Still, there have been several bright moments from various players on the team throughout this campaign.
Double T shines in OT win
Drafted with the 4th overall pick in 2011, Tristan Thompson is the longest-tenured player on the Cavs’ roster. Now in his ninth season of NBA service, Thompson is one of the last remaining vestiges of Cleveland’s 2016 championship-winning team. Though he’s 28 years of age, the former Texas standout is still a force to be reckoned with in the paint.
On Thursday, January 9, the Cavs made their way to Detroit for a matchup against the Pistons, a Central Division foe. In what seemed to be a flashback performance, Thompson racked up a career-high 35 points and 14 rebounds in a, 115-112, overtime win. At that time, the victory snapped a five-game losing streak for Cleveland.
It’s also worth mentioning that Thompson was matched up against Andre Drummond, who racked up a whopping 28 points and 23 rebounds for Detroit. Later in the season, Drummond would join Thompson and the Cavs.
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) January 10, 2020
No Love lost
Like Thompson, Kevin Love was with the Cavs when they won the title in 2016. The former UCLA standout has always been known for his rebounding prowess.
In what was their fourth game of this regular season, Cleveland served as hosts to the Chicago Bulls. Thanks in large part to double-double efforts from Thompson and Love, the Cavs managed to secure a 117-111 victory — their second of the campaign.
Love, who wore a Jason hockey mask in the Cavs’ locker room in light of Halloween, finished with 17 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. Notably, the 31-year-old tied a franchise record for rebounds in a half with 16 in the first two quarters.
Through the first 4 games of 2019-20, @kevinlove has totaled 67 rebounds – the most rebounds for any Cavalier through the team’s first 4 games of the season in franchise history. (via @EliasSports / @CavsNotes)
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 31, 2019
Matthew Dellavedova has secured a place in the hearts of Cavs fans around the globe. Now with the Cavs for a second stint, the Australian-born ball handler continues to be one of the hardest-working players in the league — a trait that has endured him to the city of Cleveland.
In a home game against the Denver Nuggets on March 7, Delly proved that he still has what it takes. In 31 minutes of action, he recorded seven points and a career-high 14 assists. With this excellent ball distribution, the Cavs managed to defeat one of the best teams in the league, 104-102.
In his next game — a 132-129 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse — Dellavedova dished out 11 assists.
“It’s plays to make everyone else feel like they’re involved,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Dellavedova, via The Athletic.
Sexton set a new bar
Now in his sophomore season with the Cavs, Collin Sexton is quietly developing into one of the better young guards in the league. During his rookie campaign, there were some questions as to what position he should play (point guard or shooting guard). Now, with the addition of Darius Garland in the 2019 NBA Draft, Sexton is shining in a two guard role.
Sexton has played well in several games this season, but his outing against the Boston Celtics on March 4 set a new career-high. The Cavs were without the services of Drummond and Garland due to injuries and were ultimately defeated at home, 112-106. Still, Sexton racked up 41 points on 17-of-30 shooting (3-of-9 from beyond the arc), six assists, three rebounds and one steal. His previous career-high was 32 against the Utah Jazz.
“The idea of what he’s able to do every night,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via ESPN. “It’s hard. How many guys can go out and get 20 every single night in this league? There aren’t many of them. And of the same guys, how many are available for all 82? What he’s doing isn’t common by any means.”
At 19-46 overall, the Cavs are out of playoff contention. Despite this fact, these moments of outstanding individual play are worth highlighting. Hopefully, the regular season will resume sooner rather than later.