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Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
The Philadelphia 76ers came into town last night, which recently has been an express train straight to a loss. The Cavs had lost five straight against the Sixers, with powerhouse center Joel Embiid demolishing them. With Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love out Wednesday night, it seemed like more of the same was in order.
Instead, the Cavs absolutely stomped the 76ers, leading by 21 points at the half and winning by 28 points in the end with a 113-85 final score. As a team they shot 16-of-17 from the field in the second quarter, their franchise best in a single quarter dating back to at least 1997-98. Caris LeVert was the leading scorer with 22 points and Darius Garland dropped 21 of his own. J.B. Bickerstaff made the decision to start Mamadi Diakite for the first time this season and implemented a quick-double defensive gameplan against Joel Embiid that worked to perfection.
The Cavs held the 76ers to just 85 points last night, a season-low, continuing a recent trend. Over their last three games, all played with Jarrett Allen, the Cavs have managed to shore up their defense and have a 100.7 Defensive Rating, bringing their season-long number back to second-best in the league. Credit Justin Rowan with the stats:
Cavs putting up a 100.7 DRTG in their last three games is pretty impressive considering Allen has been out.
For the season their DRTG is 107.5, second best in the league.
— Justin Rowan (@Cavsanada) December 1, 2022

On the negative end, the brilliant Dan Favale wrote a piece yesterday highlighting the league’s worst rim protectors this season. Showing up on the ignominious list was Donovan Mitchell. Opponents are hitting 83.3 percent of their shots at the rim against Mitchell, which ranks dead-last among 166 players defending a few such shots per game. Good thing he’s got Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen to help him out.
Yesterday at King James Gospel John Suchan did a Stock Report and highlighted some players who fans should “Buy now” as they are poised to put together a run of stellar play. First on the list? Evan Mobley.
Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics continued their tear to start the season. One year after ranking first in defense the Celtics are first in offense by a massive amount, dropping 134 points against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Tatum had 49 points, including eight 3-pointers, and he has to be considered the MVP favorite at this point as he leads the league-leading 18-4 Celtics.
There are also some key players returning from injury. While the Cavs hope that list includes Allen and Love, other players due to come back include Markelle Fultz (he made his season debut last night), Khris Middleton and James Harden.
Coming up: The Cavs stay home and welcome the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
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