Cavs vs 76ers Behind The Box Score: A Relaxing Blowout

CJ Miles vs 76ersThey say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

The Cavaliers may not have had newly acquired Luol Deng yet Tuesday night against the 76ers, but they definitely didn’t need him on this night. CJ Miles put on a shooting display and the team offense was clicking in all aspects. The Cavs jumped out to 36-20 lead after the 1st quarter and they never looked back, cruising to a refreshing 111-93 win.

The Cavaliers are expected to have Deng on Friday in Utah as they kick off a 5 game road trip. This game against the Sixers is a great way to head out on the road and adding a player like Deng should give the team a nice boost.

Now let’s get into the numbers…

  • 10 – Where else would we start than with CJ Miles and his 10 three pointers? Miles came out on fire in the first quarter scoring 15 points on 5-5 shooting from three. Miles was 8-10 in the first half and finished 10-14 from three for 34 points. You can’t say enough about the job CJ has done this season. There was talk about him working a lot on his game in the offseason, and it’s certainly nice to see his hard work paying off for him.
  • 5 – The Cavaliers had 4 starters in double digit scoring and 5 players overall. Miles (34), Anderson Varejao (18), Kyrie Irving (16), Tristan Thompson (12), and Dion Waiters (12) all put up double digit points as the team offense seemed to be about as crisp as we’ve seen all season. The ball was moving, guys were working off the ball, and the scoring was distributed pretty evenly outside CJ’s stellar output.
  • 29 – The Cavaliers had 29 assists on 89 shots as a team. Kyrie Irving had 8 assists and Dion Waiters had one of his best games as a distributor with 8 assists of his own. Matthew Dellavedova chipped in with 6 assists of his own. The Cavaliers did get a little sloppy from time to time with 18 turnovers (especially in the 2nd half where they had 13 of the turnovers), but the assists total speaks volumes to how well the whole team was moving the ball.
  • 58 to 38 – The Cavaliers out rebounded the Sixers by a 58 to 38 edge. Tristan and Andy each had double-doubles and Anthony Bennett added 8 rebounds of his own off the bench. The Sixers play at the fastest pace in the NBA, and they did manage 17 fast break points, but the Cavaliers defense held the Sixers to just 39.5% shooting from the field and with the huge rebounding edge they were able to force the Sixers to play at the Cavaliers’ pace. The Cavaliers also had a 19 to 10 edge in 2nd chance points thanks to their rebounding efforts. When the Cavaliers are able to generate assists like this and combine that with this kind of rebounding effort, they can be a tough team. It’s just a matter of finding more consistency in both aspects.
  • 4 – The Sixers’ leading scorers, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, combined for just 4 points. Turner was 2 of 13 shooting for 4 points and Young was 0-7 from the field and was held scoreless for the first time since March 2011. Michael Carter-Williams was able to pick up some of the slack by scoring 33 points on 25 shots, but overall the Cavs defense was really able to force the Sixers to be a half court team, which limited Turner and Young’s chances to get going.
  • Sigh – Anthony Bennett. I already mentioned Bennett’s 8 rebounds. If there’s one thing Bennett can hang his hat on this early into his career, it’s his rebounding. But once again, this game was mostly a disaster for the young rookie. In 18 minutes Bennett was 1-6 from the floor for 2 points with 4 fouls, 5 turnovers, and yet another missed dunk. Bennett had opportunities playing in garbage time, but he committed an offensive foul, turned the ball over a couple times, and missed a dunk. The fans at the Q started booing Bennett in a game in which the team was winning big. Bennett’s body language deteriorated and he was walking dejectedly up and down the court. It was ugly. I won’t condone the fans booing and I would never boo someone who plays for the team I root for. But I also understand the fans’ frustration and I’m discouraged by Bennett’s reaction to it. I still think the Cavaliers should send Bennett to Canton for a while and let him get his confidence back against lower competition and away from the wrath of the fans.

Overall this was one of the most complete games the Cavaliers have played all season. They were tough on defense, excellent on the boards, and the offense was about as sharp and selfless as we’ve seen all year. It’s a great confidence booster as the team hits the road for this trying road trip. But above all else, it’s a really nice spark of excitement for the addition of Luol Deng. I don’t really care who the opponent was. The Cavaliers have played horrible, uninspired games against plenty of bad teams this season. It was just nice to see the Cavaliers come out strong, build a bug lead, and not let the Sixers ever get back into the game whatsoever. It’s going to be fun to see how Deng can fit in with this team and where they go from here.


Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

  • boomhauertjs

    Can they just send Bennett home for the season and start fresh in the summer league? Tonight was embarassing.

  • Yup

    Bennett got pushed on the dunk attempt. No call. Got fouled on a TO. No call. Am I the only one who saw him seal his defender effectively and get the CORRECT PASS (countless times he had great position and no one got him the ball) from Dion (no surprise there as a Dion is the best passer on the team) and dunked easily. Did that not happen? Wasn’t mentioned in your wrap-up. Also love how easily you dismissed the 8 boards. His rebounding was really good. Also had a GREAT pass from the high post to TT. I saw so many good things tonight and have for the last 6 or so games from Bennett ( has had mire dunks in that time then all the rest of the games he played previously) but evidently I am the only one that actually objectively looks at Bennett rather than diminish his accomplishments because I have already made up my mind about him. This is TT’s rookie year all over again. Everyone decided he was useless and a horrible pick. Excuse my (understandable) skepticism on WFNY and Cavs fans in general on their rookie evaluation skills…

    And EFF YOU, Cavs “fans” who booed tonight. You don’t boo your own players. Classless…

  • Lunch

    And how does Bennett gain any experience at home?

  • Guestman

    He had a bad game tonight. He has his moments where you see just why the Cavs picked him #1, but tonight was full of bloopers. The turnovers were bad. I’d like to see him actually make a jump shot for once. However, the worst part of all was his body language. Even with the fans booing, you can tell no one is harder on him than himself.

    I agree with one of the Sixers commentators who was saying how he just needs to crash the boards more and get easy put backs just to get some points under his belt and his confidence up. He should be having fun during garbage time instead of playing “clueless” and scared. A trip to the D League, as degrading as it is for a #1 pick, may really do him good. Plus, he looks out of shape still, so more minutes can help him physically.

  • Daniel

    I agree on sending Bennett to the D league. That is what it is there for. But there is a stigma in the NBA unlike MLB. He needs lots of playing time. My brother had the same shoulder surgery Bennett did at about the same time. He couldn’t do anything physical for 2-3 months. Even then he was limited by the doctors to lifting only 5lbs for the next few months. It is a major injury to come back from and to have to come back against the highest level of competition in the world as a rookie was never going to be easy. Bennett just needs consistent playing time without pressure to rebuild his confidence.

    The only time I condone booing a home team player is if they aren’t trying. It is one thing if you just aren’t good enough, it’s another thing if you aren’t giving it your all.

  • I mentioned Bennett’s 8 rebounds in two different bullet points. I didn’t mention anyone else’s stats in two different bullet points, not even CJ Miles’ 10 threes. So not sure why you think I dismissed them. I gave him plenty of credit for them.

    Also, this is your final warning to stop with the insults. You can disagree without insulting “WFNY and Cavs fans in general”. I completely disagree with you on Bennett, I don’t think he looks good right now at all. His scoring per 36 minutes is 2nd to last on the team, only ahead of Gee. His 0.99 Efficiency Rating is dead last on the team. His eFG% is dead last on the team by a mile, 7.6% worse than the 2nd worst player. He has the 4th highest TO% on the team. He is dead last in offensive efficiency and in total Win Shares per 48 minutes. The two areas he’s doing ok in are rebounding and defensive efficiency. He is 5th in TRB% and 3rd in defensive efficiency on the team. But those redeeming skills aren’t overshadowing his overall deficiencies right now.

    Did you see how I just stated my opinion, disagreed with you, and provided facts to support my argument….all without insulting you, questioning your knowledge, or stating skepticism in your basketball evaluation skills or objectivity in evaluation? You’ve been warned before, and this is your final warning. The next time you insult someone, you will be banned.

  • Pat Leonard

    And now for some non-Bennett talk… that game was great! Man, it felt so good to watch the Cavs get a blowout win… it’s really their first of the season besides maybe that win over the Knicks where the Cavs were up big all game and the Knicks came back to make it merely a ten point win. I’m sure if you pace-adjusted that game, you’d see that the Cavs played really good defense for the 4th game in a row. Andy Varejao looked like a man among boys (and he kind of was given how young the Sixers are). I can’t wait to bring in Luol Deng and cut out those minutes for Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee. Even when Deng goes to the bench, I’d rather see the 3-guard lineup with Delly than see either of those guys in the game.

    The next game is against the Utah Jazz, who will hopefully be ready for a let-down after their surprising win over the Thunder last night.

  • The thing I liked the most was that the Cavs were actually being opportunistic for once. Their offense was exploiting Philly’s interior defense early, before CJ went off. In fact, that might have opened things up a bit for CJ to get him going. And on defense, the Cavs were content to let MCW get his, but they did a great job limiting Philly’s opportunities to get out and run.

  • RGB

    Anthony Bennett = Ben Wallace…
    37 year old Ben Wallace.

  • Pat Leonard

    I agree… tying into the article that Jakey Stats put out there a couple days ago, I was noticing that the Cavs not named Dion Waiters were being really effective in the restricted area. Tristan was finishing. Andy was finishing. Kyrie was finishing. I believe even Delly had one or two. I would love to see that be a more consistent theme with this team. I need Dion Waiters to stop driving to the hoop looking for the foul. He needs to expect to finish the shot, and if he’s heading straight into a stationary defender, then pass. I like that he can get past his defender and get to the hoop with ease. I hate that he doesn’t alter his plan when he sees the help defender is in position to block his shot.

  • Pat Leonard

    Andre Drummond = Ben Wallace. He’s definitely more effective in scoring, but he’s mainly defense/rebounds/abysmal foul shooting just like Ben.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Easily one of the Cavaliers best performances of the season. What a difference making shots can be huh? They moved the ball incredibly well and were as unselfish as I can remember. Perhaps Luol Deng despite not even being in the building is already making an impact.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    They moved and shared the ball probably the best I can remember this entire season last night. Of course being able to make shots always helps. Nice way to start a big road trip. Deng should be in town gets to actually practice before heading west with his new team. The Cavaliers need to get some “W”s on this trip!

  • mgbode

    Watched the Buckeye game instead, but you have to like Miles telling the coaching staff that he’s not giving up any of HIS minutes on the wing w/ the Deng acquisition 🙂

  • Rob

    Once Deng arrives, Gee should never see the court barring foul trouble or injury. The SF minutes should be split between Deng, Miles and whatever 3rd guard when they want to go smaller.
    Bennett should no longer play meaningful minutes. The Deng trade = “Win now” and he clearly isn’t ready to contribute (see Andrew’s stats). The bigs rotation should be Andy, TT, Zeller and Clark at the stretch 4. I know he has struggled in the SF role lately, but was playing well as a reserve 4 earlier in the year.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Gee could see minutes in blowouts…and there are plenty of Eastern Conference teams that we should be able to blow out if our guys play with this kind of effort regularly.

  • No question. So often people judge “good” and “bad” basketball solely on makes and misses. But regardless of whether CJ was draining everything, the team was moving the ball exceptionally well and they were getting into the offense earlier in the shot clock than usual, which was encouraging to see.

  • Haha, I didn’t think of that, but there might have been a little bit of that. Shame you missed that game, though….the offense was actually fun to watch. Best overall movement by the offense as a whole I’ve seen all year.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I think the ball movement and shooting go hand in hand but I could be wrong. All I know is the Cavaliers have shown the ability to do more they just need entirely more consistency. Deng alone will help that IMO but it was nice to see some of the younger guys, including Irving and Waiters, do it.

    I also really liked how Zeller played. People have been down on him and frankly he deserved it but I still maintain that this kid has a place on this team and in the NBA.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It’s called DVR dude! 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    My man Gee is disappointing me big time. I have been a vocal supporter of his for a few years now but I’m having second thoughts.

  • mgbode

    Hopefully, it was just the beginning.

    Also, haven’t seen it mentioned much. How did Kyrie look coming back from his knee injury? Was he still limited? I noticed MCW went off for a career high in points, so that got me wondering. Thanks.

  • mgbode

    it is also called hours in the day 🙂

  • I noticed him checking his knee every now and then, and he took one spill that I think scared him a bit. He was definitely more reserved than usual, and the Cavaliers had Kyrie playing off the ball a little more than usual. It was a decent return, but you could tell he wasn’t 100% yet.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Well a few less hours on WFNY and you will be fine. Not only that but it will allow me to catch up in the race for the most comments. See not alone a win for you but a win for me. ;=)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Austin Carr spoke enough about it good Lord. No offense to anyone I mean I love me some AC but if he reminds me one more time during a game of his injury history I’ll scream.

  • Pat Leonard

    Interesting… the last time the Cavs did not have the player with the highest number of rebounds in the game was December 23 against the Pistons. That was 9 games ago. Varejao has 6 of those 8… TT has one and Zeller has one. Andy is heating up!

  • Pat Leonard

    Interesting… the last time the Cavs did not have the player with the highest number of rebounds in the game was December 23 against the Pistons. That was 9 games ago. Varejao has 6 of those 8… TT has one and Zeller has one. Andy is heating up!

  • mgbode

    Ok, thanks guys.

  • mgbode

    I rarely comment from home and I don’t have DVR access at work. So, you need to use those hours if that is what is important to you.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m just jokin’ around it’s all good.

  • Kildawg

    Liked the fact that Coach Brown was able to put an all-rookie lineup out there for the last part of the game. Keep guys like Varejao and Irving healthy, while getting Bennett and co. low-pressure experience. Bennett is clearly a 4 and needs more game minutes to improve; the #1 overall pick stigma hurts him more than Thompson being #4 overall.

  • Yup

    I express skepticism with your evaluation skills and that is an “insult?” You are wildly sensitive. Did not many Cavs fans and WFNY KILL TT his rookie year? Yes. That is my FACT that backs up my skepticism of the evaluation skills of rookies by Cavs fans! They are notoriously inpatient and frequently wrong.

    I see you got into with another commenter who was not insulting either so clearly you are very overly sensitive and defensive. As a person who works with the public, I recommend you get thicker skin. If this requires you to ban me, so be it.

  • Yup

    Funny, that is exactly what you do with Bennett when I try and point out that you give me lots of his shooting numbers! Hilarious…oh well at least we agree that he type of shot matters more than misses.

  • BenRM

    I was at the game last night and was embarrassed by the booing fans. But how on earth does Bennett keep missing dunks like that? Last night’s was a pretty easy one.

    I really feel badly for the kid, but I don’t know what to do with him. His shot sucks. He grabbed some good boards. Looked good off the dribble (before he inevitably turned it over) and showed good vision (but still turned it over anyway).

    He’s like a click too slow right now…and his shot is terrible.

  • BenRM

    You and I watched a completely different Bennett last night.

    – The dunk was “challenged” but not very fiercely. He’s a big strong dude and needs to play like it.

    – Some of his fouls were pretty unacceptable.

    – His shot is miserable right now.

    – His decision to pass was often slow and resulted in a few turnovers (the right decision, but not quick enough).

    – He lost the ball off the dribble resulting in turnovers. Almost every time if I recall correctly.

    – You really want to hang your hat on the one play he scored?

    – I agree, no one should have booed. I felt really bad for him.

  • This is pretty epic. And inexcusable:

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I’m embarrassed by his walking up the court…no attempt to even half-ass jog. Just a slow walk. Same when setting a pick for Felix…or at least attempting to move towards a guy as if he’s setting a pic. The guy is mentally broken right now. His head is not where it needs to be. It’s a crying shame.

  • Hah, well, that didn’t take long.

  • Pat Leonard

    Not gonna miss that guy. This isn’t, and that’s what I appreciate most about the comment section. The folks who comment here can get heated when they disagree, but at least they are considerate.

  • Kildawg

    Miles would be part of a 3 guard look. He’s currently the starter at SG and is listed as such. Gee is a good defender and reserve, but his shooting leaves much to be desired; most of which is being the guy trying to fill in for that James person…

  • Kildawg

    We all know that Gee and Clark are getting their minutes slashed due to the Deng acquisition; mostly because it gives Coach Brown a real SF to work with for the first time since that James guy.