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Cavaliers dominate offensively against Kings, becoming the second seed in Eastern Conference

Guest columnist Mario Ghosn got a behind the scenes look at a stellar game from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers went up against the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 5 in a high-paced offensive scoring fest, besting the West Coast team 136-110.

Before the game, Coach JB Bickerstaff addressed how the team was going to address Kings’ center Domantas Sabonis, who has been on a tear lately. Bickerstaff believed that the Cavs had to be physically dominant if they wanted to minimize Sabonis’ impact and win the game.

As expected, Sabonis was difficult to contain, dropping a triple double before the second half even started. The referees were allowing the players to be physical, refusing to call ticky-tack fouls. This style of officiating contributed to what became a fast-paced game. Although Sabonis was playing well, the Cavs were able to minimize the contributions of his other teammates by turning their aggressive defense into a high-octane offense.

With the All-Star weekend creeping up, it looked like the two teams were previewing what the three-point contest would look like as both teams were putting up a barrage of threes. Donovan Mitchell and Max Strus put up a combined eleven three pointers, besting the Kings’ duo of Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes who had eight.

The Cavs were dominant in every quarter of the game which resulted in the 26-point victory, not allowing the Kings to get back within reach. When it looked like the Kings were going to go on a run and build some momentum, the Cavs would make a huge defensive stop to snuff their opponent’s hopes of victory. Strus played a role in this defensive impact, boasting two impactful steals which led to quick baskets. Mitchell stated after the game that those types of plays are deflating for the other team when they are trying to stage a comeback.

Perhaps the exclamation point on what may have been the best offensive performance from the Cavs this year was an unreal, self alley-oop that Mitchell threw off the backboard in the fourth quarter.

After the game, the players were cracking jokes with the media and sabotaging each other’s interviews, showing how close they have grown together this year. The athletes were gushing with excitement for what is to come for the second half of the season.

This game demonstrated what this team is capable of now that they are relatively healthy. With this win over the Kings, the Cavs now sit at second in the Eastern Conference, five games behind the Boston Celtics. They were the ninth seed at the beginning of the season, struggling heavily with injuries to key players like Darius Garland (jaw) and Evan Mobley (knee). Despite the injuries and people counting them out, the Cavs have gone a league-best 19-4 since Dec. 16, the best record in the entire NBA.

Coach Bickerstaff spoke about how the team has been able to thrive despite the adversity they have been through, simply stating that everyone has bought in and understands that to continue to win and improve, they must become the most confident and aggressive versions of themselves within their roles. This Cavs team is evolving into a serious championship contender and the rest of the league is finally beginning to take notice.

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About the Contributor
Mario Ghosn, Multimedia: Visual and Technical Editor
Mario Ghosn is the Multimedia - Visual and Technical Editor for The Carroll News from Chesterland, Ohio. He is a senior at John Carroll University majoring in Communications with a Concentration in Digital Media. Mario has been writing for the Carroll News since his Junior year where he decided to switch his major to the Communications field to pursue writing and design. In addition to his involvement with The Carroll News, Mario is involved with Campus Ministry and his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. When he is not on campus, Mario spends much of his time at his communications internship with ReliabiltiyFirst, specializing in graphic design and content creation, as well as managing his father’s restaurant, BurgerIM, on the weekends. In the future, Mario hopes to write professionally for television as well as further his education in other fields. To contact Mario, email him at [email protected].

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