Clutch Feed: Cavs-Thunder all over again, but completely different
Cavaliers: 109 – Thunder: 118
The Cavaliers are shooting 48.1% from the field and 47.6% from three.
The Thunder are shooting 47.2% from the field and 29.6% from three.
CLE: K. Irving – 28 points
OKC: R. Westbrook – 29 points
CLE: 35 (K. Love – 12 rebounds)
OKC: 51 (S. Adams – 13 rebounds)
CLE: 14 (L. James – 7 assists)
OKC: 24 (R. Westbrook – 11 assists)
1. Reggie Miller won’t stop talking about transition defense
While the Cavs subpar tendencies in transition defense continue, it does stand out on national television. The Thunder took the first 10 fastbreak points of the game, many of which came off missed shots and a lack of hustle. Since then, the Cavs have evened transition scoring and earned a lead going into halftime. Not a bad effort for the third road game in four days.
2. Derrick Williams has landed
This guy is interesting, but most of that can be attributed to his situation. Plagued with early career cuts and struggles, Williams has been lost in the perpetual rebuilding of a few franchises. Drafted second overall in 2011, ahead of several of today’s stars, Williams has always been forced to take on too large of a role on too inexperienced of teams. Today, on his 10-day debut with no practice, Williams has shown initiative in fast breaks situations and actively looking to create plays for his teammates in the half court offense.
— All Ball (@allballapp) February 10, 2017
His situation is a very low risk for a small gamble for an unlikely but large reward. Athletically speaking, Williams has the potential to solve a number of issues in the Cavs’ perimeter and penetrative defense.
Cavaliers: 57 – Thunder: 55
The Cavaliers are shooting 47.6% from the field and 50.0% from three.
The Thunder are shooting 46.2% from the field and 36.4% from three.
CLE: L. James – 16 points
OKC: R. Westbrook – 10 points
CLE: 21 (K. Love – 7 rebounds)
OKC: 25 (R. Westbrook – 9 rebounds)
CLE: 8 (L. James – 3 assists)
OKC: 15 (R. Westbrook – 8 assists).
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UPCOMING MILESTONES: With eight more three pointers, Kyle Korver becomes only the seventh player in the NBA to hit 2000 in his career. LeBron James needs eight more rebounds to secure the 2nd most in Cavaliers’ history – passing Brad Daugherty.
STARTING LINEUP CHANGE: Despite Tyronn Lue talking about resting the Big Three tonight last night, he has since said “the guys want to go” according to Fred McLeod. The starting lineup is projected to be Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Liggins, LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson.
On the second night of a back to back, the Cavaliers’ four game winning streak is currently up in the air. After winning 132-117 against the Pacers behind 29 point games for Kyrie Irving and Kyle Korver, the Wine-and-Gold head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. The Thunders’ last game also comes against the Pacers – a 90-93 loss on Monday. The Thunder have won just two of their last six games, but are still 7th best in the Western Conference.
These teams have faced off once already this season – a 107-91 win for the Cavaliers behind Kyrie Irving’s 29 points and LeBron James’s 25, while Russell Westbrook put up a triple double (20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists) on the other end. Since the Thunder have been in Oklahoma City, the Cavaliers have won 11 out of the 16 total games played between the two teams. Russell Westbrook has scored 20 or more points in his last eight games against the Cavaleirs as well.
The Thunder have excelled in rebounding this season – pulling down a fourth-best 46.1 per game. Last game against the Cavaliers, the Thunder managed the secure 55 rebounds, while the Cavaliers managed 51. If there is too much of a rebound discrepancy, the Thunder can easily put teams away – they look to push after each defensive rebound and average 17.3 fast break points per game – third in the league. In addition, they like to live in the paint, scoring a second most 49.4 points there per game. The game plan for the Cavaliers might be to try and control the pace, play safe down low on defense to combat their paint points, and really box out on both sides of the court.
Key players to watch for on the Thunder will be Russell Westbrook (averaging 30.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game), Victor Oladipo (averaging 16.0 points per game), and Steven Adams (averaging 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game).
Tipoff is set for 8:00 EST and will be broadcast on TNT.