Cavaliers Weekly Review: 11/7/23

November 7, 2023

Tony Camino

Cavs Off To 3-4 Start After Storm Of Injuries

After an early back-to-back with the Knicks, which they split, and two matchups with an underrated Pacers team, the Cavs find themselves at 3-4 two weeks into the season. Jarrett Allen returned on Friday at Indiana, along with Darius Garland. The Cavs played their first-ever In-Season Tournament game and lost at an ugly blue Pacers’ court, 121-116, despite a strong second half. To salvage the week, they capped off a nice Cleveland Sunday with a 115-104 win over the Warriors, marking their first regular season win over the Dubs since Christmas 2016.

Stat Leaders

Points: Donovan Mitchell – 32.5 PPG

Rebonds: Evan Mobley – 11.6 RPG

Assists: Darius Garland – 6.0 APG


When Allen and Garland were out, it was up to Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Caris Levert to carry all of the offensive burden. Mitchell ended up taking on almost all of it, with three straight 30-point games. After a game of getting Garland and Allen back going again, the offense was clicking, and all starters were in double figures.

In their most recent win against the Warriors, Garland scored a season-high 24 points despite not having an efficient shooting day. When he can get going again with his shot, the pressure off Mitchell’s shoulders will allow this team to start stacking wins like last year.

The offense as a whole looks very promising, with the new spacing and off-ball movement being so apparent. Max Strus and Georges Niang aren’t off to the best starts shooting the ball, but they are efficient career shooters and should pick it back up to take this offense to the next level. The spacing those two create cannot be overstated and it’s only a matter of time until they start heating up.


When the anchor of the defense in Allen misses significant time to start the year, it’s going to be harder to get stops as consistently as before. They currently still rank 11th in defensive rating, but their defensive rebounding percentage has been where they struggled without Allen. The Cavs are just 26th in that category, which really hurt them in close losses early in the season.

With Allen back in the lineup, everything has looked up to par on that end of the floor. They dominated the glass on Sunday against the Warriors, albeit they tend to play smaller. Nonetheless, this team looked much better on both ends of the floor healthy and will continue to pick up wins going forward.


When you lose four rotational players quickly into the season, it becomes very challenging to determine what the normal rotations will look like. Two-way rookies Emoni Bates and Craig Porter Jr. were forced into the rotation due to injuries, and both displayed flashes of potential in their stints. J.B. Bickerstaff has done a commendable job mixing things up, utilizing small lineups with Niang at the five while also maintaining enough shooters around the big men to provide adequate spacing for the offense to operate.

In the coming week, we will gain a much clearer insight into the team’s rotation and Bickerstaff’s strategies based on various matchups. Having most of the team healthy is a significant boost, allowing us to better understand the identity of this team for the 2023-24 season.

Injury Report

Isaac Okoro (knee) Day-to-Day

Ty Jerome (ankle) OUT

Upcoming schedule

Wednesday, November 8th: @ Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3)

Saturday, November 11th: @ Golden State Warriors (6-2)

Monday, November 13th: @ Sacramento Kings (2-4)

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