The Cleveland Cavaliers have arguably been the best team in basketball since the start of 2024. Overall, the Cavs have only lost twice in 2024, in January to the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Otherwise, Cleveland has won 17 games in 2024, including riding a nine-game winning streak after their latest victory, a 119-95 drubbing of the Raptors in Toronto.

More impressively is the fact that the Cavs aren't only busting heads at home this season, where they're rolling with a record of 18-8, which is tenth-best in the NBA. Instead, it's the fact that Cleveland has looked like the best road team in the NBA, which, considering how last year's team performed whenever they were away from home, is a total shock.

Cavs find groove on the road

Cavs JB Bickerstaff, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley

Last season, the Cavs were a losing team on the road during the regular season, going 20-21. If you include their two postseason meltdowns in Madison Square Garden to the Knicks, Cleveland was actually 20-23 away from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. So, with the same personnel from last year and a few key offseason additions, what allowed the Cavs to flip the script so easily?

Well, as simple as it seems, Cleveland maintains a selfless, team-first approach, where they're more than comfortable grinding out opponents on the defensive end of the floor and letting that control the flow of their offense on the other end.

“Our guys have completely bought into the idea of what they are capable of defensively and understand how important that is for our success,” said head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “They take pride in it. Something they feed off and want to do.”

“They get upset when guys score on them, give up offensive rebounds or blown assignments. I want our guys to believe in it the way they do and want our opponents to feel us,” Bickerstaff continued. “Defense wins. It travels. Gives a chance for sustained success.”

It wasn't just defense where the Cavs dominated, even though they held the Raptors to under 100 points. On offense, Cleveland's team-first approach was also fully displayed in its win over Toronto. The Cavs had 36 assists on their 48 made baskets and 13 assists on their 14 made three-point attempts.

Cleveland had eight players score in double figures, including all five starters, and of the eleven players who did play, the only one who failed to make a shot was forward Dean Wade.

“That’s what this game is all about,” said Bickerstaff postgame. “I think sometimes people get bored with the simple things. But through this stretch, you guys have continued to see, we don’t make it complicated.”

In 19 games since the calendar flipped to 2024, the Cavs have only trailed for a total of 188 minutes out of a total 912 played. More impressively, they're only two wins away from tying last year's road win total, and Cleveland is continuing to show signs of the NBA's most complete team. While they won't get a chance until after the All-Star break, the Cavs could pull it off toward the end of February with road stops against the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards.

“We want to win every game. We want to win every game by as much as we can,” Max Strus said after the Cavs defeated the Raptors. “That’s what I love about this team. There’s a lot of fight and a lot of hunger and guys want to be great. We’re sharing in each other’s success and enjoying it.”

By the time Cleveland gets there, they could ride the high of forgiving homestand, rest, and, most of all, a possible eleven-game winning streak. Although it's a simple formula for success, Cleveland has codified it into their central identity and, in turn, has flipped the script from last season and become one of the best overall teams in basketball.