Cleveland Cavaliers Win Battle Against Milwaukee Bucks

The Cleveland Cavaliers win the battle against the Milwaukee Bucks 102-95. With Deron Williams officially signing and Andrew Bogut possibly joining the team, can the team bring this momentum into March?

The Cleveland Cavaliers ended February on a high note–which is something that couldn’t be said for the month of January.

They finished the month 9-2 after going 7-8 last month and they did it by defeating their division rival, the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Bucks are the one team that would be a tough matchup for the Cavaliers if they were to play in the first round.

They’re still a young team, but they have so much size and length. They force turnovers, and make dribble penetration and passing the ball tough.

They forced seven turnovers in the first half by the Cavs, but a lot were due to lazy passes and poor shot selection.

It was close throughout most of the game, but in usual second-half fashion, the Cavaliers took over and ran away with it in the fourth quarter.

They did a great job defending Giannis Antetokounmpo, holding him to nine points on 4-for-13 shooting, Anytime he had the ball, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson or Richard Jefferson were on him.

It’s executing a game plan to the fullest extent. They let everybody else try to beat them– but made sure Giannis didn’t. He’s an upcoming superstar in the NBA, but he’s not there just yet.

James made his return after missing Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls with strep throat. It’s amazing how different this team looks when he’s on the floor.

Yes, I know he’s the greatest player in the NBA right now, but when he’s not out there, the team forgets completely how to play basketball. The Cavs’ 4-19 record when James doesn’t play doesn’t lie.

It’s unfortunate because this team is filled with so much talent, but it shows you the impact a great player has with a team. He truly makes the game easier for his teammates.

However, the biggest standout was Derrick Williams.

What an acquisition he’s been for the Cavaliers. I can see him being the heir apparent to Jefferson next season since he’s retiring. He’s a mirror image of Jefferson when he was younger, only bigger and stronger.

All he’s done is came in and produced on both ends of the floor.  He’s been great in transition, and on the wings for open three-point attempts. Williams has also been good on the defensive boards reverting back to his power forward days when he first came into the league.

He had seven rebounds against the Bucks, six of them were defensive boards.

They had no answer for him and he finished the game with 14 points–which led all bench scorers. He’s finally comfortable within the offense, and is playing with a renewed confidence since joining the Cavs.

The hoop wasn’t kind in the second return to Quicken Loans Arena for Matthew Dellavedova. He only scored four points and went 0-for-5 from long range.

Fellow Aussie Kyrie Irving wasn’t locking him down, he was just missing open shots and shooting the ball like a rocket.

Irving had another good game, scoring 25 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He also went 2-for-4 from three-point range. He had four turnovers, but he made up for it with nine assists.

I think the addition of Deron Williams could help Irving understand the importance of passing at the point guard position and help him begin the ball movement instead of immediately looking for his shot.

He’s never had another playmaking point guard on the roster before. Playing with a veteran like Williams could pay dividends.

Kyle Korver had a good night shooting. The 3-for-9 from three-point range doesn’t look great, but the three shots he made were huge in keeping the momentum for Cleveland.

He was also doing this on a sore knee that he suffered on Saturday against the Bulls.

It’s truly amazing how the addition of two players has impacted the bench. The Cavs went from a struggling rotation–to one of the best in the league–especially once Williams joins the team.

The Cavaliers win the  season series against the Bucks 3-1. They will be involved in another battle on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics. Williams will make his debut with Andrew Bogut likely right behind him.

Let the journey to the postseason begin!

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