Amid the drama surrounding point guard Derrick Rose’s departure from the team to re-evaluate his career, the Cleveland Cavaliers have overcome early season struggles en route to a nine-game win streak.
In their latest victory, a 108-97 romp of the Miami Heat, LeBron James and Kevin Love combined for 59 points and 21 rebounds. Late in the third quarter, LeBron was ejected for the first time in his career, arguing with referee Kane Fitzgerald about what he perceived as a missed foul call on Heat forward James Johnson.
Despite the recent incident, LeBron has averaged 26.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 7.6 APG over the course of the streak. That along with his improved free throw and three-point shooting percentage, LeBron has once again inserted himself into the MVP conversation and quieted everyone who questioned his legitimacy as King of the East.
Dwyane Wade and Kyle Korver have been critical to the Cavaliers’ recent success. Although both veteran players are only averaging around 10 PPG off the bench, Wade has been effective running the second unit and Korver continues to be a reliable sharpshooter.
Furthermore, point guard Isaiah Thomas could be back from injury earlier than expected. Despite originally projected to make his season debut in January, a mid-December return seems likely with Thomas ramping up his workouts. With Rose out for the foreseeable future, Thomas’ return could lessen the burden on LeBron and the Cavs.
By: Adam Tayabali