The Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Detroit Pistons their 17th straight loss, 110-101, on Saturday night. Max Strus and Darius Garland each had 22 points for the Cavs – but after the game, Strus pointed to a different hero of the game on Bally Sports:
Max Strus points to Isaac Okoro and the @cavs bench changing the game tonight in Detroit: "What he can do, a lot of people in the NBA can't do on the defensive end. We ask a lot of him and he never complains." #LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/YnCkMeuFEo
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) December 3, 2023
Said Strus when talking about Okoro coming off the Cavs' bench, “What he can do, a lot of people in the NBA can't do on the defensive end. We ask a lot of him, and he never complains.”
Okoro did a little bit of everything for the Cavs on Saturday. The reserve had nine points, seven rebounds, four steals and four assists in 33:01 off the bench.
Cleveland needed everything they got from Okoro. The Cavs have been hit by a litany of injuries. Caris LeVert injured his knee at the end of the loss against the Trail Blazers and missed Saturday's game. Joining LeVert on the Cavs' inactive lis, Dean Wade (ankle), Ty Jerome (ankle), Emoni Bates (G League), Isaiah Mobley (G League) and Ricky Rubio (personal) were all unavailable for Cleveland.
Taking on the Pistons was a bit of a get-right game for the Cavs. After an embarrassing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that he spent a long time in the locker room after the game, talking with the guys to openly discuss where the team is headed and how they’re going to get there. Bickerstaff said that the team has been struggling to play with a lead.
Up next for the Cavs: they host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.