The Cleveland Cavaliers have been really bad on the road this season with just four wins and 16 losses away from Quicken Loans Arena. Despite their poor road play on the season, the Cavs were able to pick up a huge win at the Staples Center and improve to 14-24 against an injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers team.
A huge reason for the Cavs winning on Tuesday night was newly-acquired forward Luol Deng. Deng played 38 minutes, scoring 27 points on just 15 shot attempts. He made nine of his 15 attempts and didn’t miss any of his five three-pointers. He also added five rebounds and four assists. If the Cavs are going to make the playoffs and maybe even advance past the first round, they will need Deng to continue to mesh with his new team.
Anderson Varejao has been a monster since the Cavs suspended Andrew Bynum indefinitely and eventually traded him. On Tuesday night, Varejao scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds while making 7-of-11 shots. Varejao and Tristan Thompson have essentially been double-double machines since Bynum was shipped out. Thompson added 15 points and 13 rebounds of his own.
Star point guard Kyrie Irving has been playing well in 2014, but he still isn’t quite on par with what fans of the Cavaliers have come to expect from him. On Tuesday night, Irving scored just 13 points and dished out only four assists, going 5-for-12 from the field. If the Cavs can get their entire team to play well together, they could be scary come playoff time. They have a nice collection of talented individual players — Irving, Varejao, Deng, Thompson, C.J. Miles and sixth man of the year candidate Dion Waiters. If they are able to learn to play as a team, they will be an extremely dangerous group.