Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The Cleveland Cavaliers may have had a rough stretch of games out west, and while it may not exactly be leading to a significant difference in the win column, the Wine and Gold have been playing markedly better when on the floor. Let’s take a look… Cavs’ efficiency in first 28 games (record: 5-23): 99.1-105.9 (-6.8) Cavs’ efficiency in last 15 games (record: 6-9): 102.9-106.4 (-3.5) Would-be All-Star center Anderson Varejao has been out for all of these last 15 games… The team is doing slightly worse defensively (still among the bottom five in NBA, either way), but notably better on the offensive efficiency side. An offensive efficiency mark of 99.1 also is in the bottom five of the NBA on that side of the ball, but 102.9 is pretty mediocre with league average being 102.4 so far this season. This is pretty intriguing to me, so I tried to figure out why. The Cavs are notably rebounding awfully during this stretch. That’s especially true on the offensive end. Rebounding margin: +1.1 margin in first 28 games; -5.1 in last 15 games Offensive rebound rate: 30.6%  orb% in first 28 games, 27.1% in last 15 games But the biggest positive differences? Fewer turnovers, better two-point shooting percentage and better free-throw shooting percentage. Turnovers: 14.8 pg in first 28 games, 12.5 pg in last 15 games 2-point shooting: 43.7% in first 28 games, 45.5% in last 15 games Free throw shooting: 72.4% in first 28 games, 79.6% in last 15 games Given that the Cavaliers are among the league leaders in pace of play, this improved efficiency — coupled with fewer turnovers and improved conversion rates at the charity stripe — have proven to be huge despite the absence of a player who was averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds while providing heart, soul, energy and a career-best PER. [Related: The Diff: Franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

Randy Moss attends cancer survivor's graduation

Roger Staubach shares thoughts on Greg Hardy

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

WATCH: Vin Scully narrates fan's marriage proposal

WATCH: Harper, Matt Williams have special handshake

The Yankees are succeeding despite the numbers

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.