Cleveland Cavaliers Continue Red-Hot December Surge With Win Over Utah Jazz

The Cleveland Cavaliers stayed hot with an easy 122-99 home win against the Utah Jazz at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday to pick up their fourth straight win.

Monday’s win also brought Cleveland (21-11) above the .500 mark for the first time this season. It also marked Cleveland’s third winning streak of at least four games here in 2022-23 (they won eight in a row from Oct. 22 to Nov. 6).

As usual, it was the 2022 off-season acquisition Donovan Mitchell who led the way offensively for Cleveland. Mitchell had a field day against his former team, racking up 23 points to go along with a pair of rebounds and one assist. He made 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc, too.

Cleveland’s remarkable depth was on display throughout the evening. Jarrett Allen tuned in a strong performance for the Cavaliers, recording 20 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists.

Evan Mobley (12 points, eight rebounds, three assists) Darius Garland (17 points, eight assists), Isaac Okoro (12 points, four assists, two rebounds), Caris LeVert (13 points, four rebounds), and Cedi Osman (22 points, two rebounds) also contributed plenty on the floor.

Note: The Buckeye State is scheduled to launch mobile/online and in-person sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023. The available sportsbooks will be offering several special sign-up/welcome bonuses to new customers, like for Example: The Bet365 Ohio Bonus Code in which one can get $100 in free bets on launch day plus a free three-month subscription to NBA League Pass.

If the Cavaliers keep up this strong start, they’ll be a good value bet to win the NBA Championship. At FanDuel, 10 teams have higher 2023 NBA Championship odds than the Cavaliers (+2400), and Mitchell is a +3000 longshot to win the NBA MVP award.

Monday was the first of two regular-season meetings between the Cavaliers and Jazz for 2022-23. They will meet again in Utah on Jan. 10. This will be Mitchell’s first visit to Utah as a visiting player, and it’ll be interesting to see how the fans greet their former superstar.

Cavaliers Look Like A Legitimate Championship Contender Through First 2 Months

The Cavaliers made excellent progress under head coach J. B. Bickerstaff last season, finishing with a 44-38 record to qualify for the play-in tournament.

Last season marked Cleveland’s first winning campaign without LeBron James on the roster since 1997-98. The Cavs lost both play-in games, but the 44-win season simply showed that this team was just one piece away from reaching the next step.

So it made perfect sense for GM Koby Altman to make a blockbuster move for a superstar like Mitchell. The Cavs already had two young franchise building blocks in Garland and Evan Mobley and one of the league’s best benches, but one more proven veteran standout could help push this team into contention.

Mitchell has been everything the Cavaliers could’ve asked for, and more. The Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, and Toronto Raptors haven’t played up to expectations up to this point, and the Cavs have been making the most of a surprisingly weak Eastern Conference.

Aside from the Cavaliers, only the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have been consistently dominant through the first two months of the season.

But Cleveland is 2-0 against the Celtics this season, having won both games in overtime. Clearly, the Mitchell-led Cavs are capable of keeping pace with the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown-led Celtics in a best-of-seven.

Cleveland is 0-2 against Milwaukee in the season series thus far, with both losses coming by double-digit points. Giannis Antetokounmpo has definitely had the Cavs’ number, but if Altman can swing a trade for another steady defender or two ahead of the deadline, Cleveland will be better equipped to slow down the Bucks’ prolific offense.

We’re not even at the halfway point of the 2022-23 NBA season, and a lot can change in the coming months. But with each passing week, it’s becoming harder and harder to not buy Mitchell’s Cavaliers as a legitimate title contender.

Mitchell, Mobley, and Garland form one of the league’s top “big threes”, and there are capable scorers all over the roster here. Cleveland won’t be considered the team to beat in the East until/unless they go on a deep playoff run with this core, but who says they can’t do so in 2022-23? All of the pieces are there for this group to go all the way to the big dance.

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Subhash, Founder of Crowdwisdom360 is an MBA and a Trained Financial Advisor with an extensive background in Forecasting in Financial Services and Politics. He has appeared many times on National TV and has written for a variety of magazines on Wealth Management and Election Strategy.

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