Georges Niang on what he hopes Cavs teammates learn from his spat with Coby White

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls featured a bit of a heated exchange involving Georges Niang and Coby White, and technical fouls were issued as a result.

After the game, Cavs wing Isaac Okoro called Niang an “enforcer” while speaking on the altercation.

Niang wasn’t sure if Okoro really meant it, but he appreciated the gesture, and he said that he hopes his tenacious approach rubs off on his teammates.

“Coming from Isaac, I’m sure that was a little sarcastic, but I appreciate that coming from him,” Niang said. “But, no, I play with a lot of tenacity. I play with a lot of intensity, and that’s just who I am.

“I don’t back down from anybody, and I hope that rubs off on all our guys ’cause I think we have a great team. We have a chance to do something special.”

The Cavs used a big fourth quarter to earn a gritty win over the Bulls, with Cleveland winning 108-105 after outscoring Chicago by eight points in the final frame.

Niang finished with 11 points and two boards. He went just 1-for-5 from beyond the arc, but he did shoot 5-for-9 from the field overall.

The Cavs have been virtually unstoppable since the calendar flipped to 2024. They did lose on New Year’s Day, but since then, they’ve played 20 games and won 18 of them. Cleveland will head into the All-Star break with a 36-17 record, which has it slotted as the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference. There’s plenty of positive buzz surrounding the squad.

In his first season with the Cavs, Niang has appeared in 53 of a possible 53 games. His durability has been stellar, and he’ll look to maintain it after the All-Star break. An 82-game regular season is still in play for the veteran.

Cleveland will be back in action on Feb. 22 for a home matchup against the Orlando Magic before a quick turnaround on Feb. 23 for a road game against the Philadelphia 76ers. In the meantime, the Cavs will certainly enjoy the All-Star break, and they’ll be represented at the event this Sunday by star guard Donovan Mitchell.

The Cavs seemingly have a chance to make some serious noise in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, a box they’re surely motivated to check after their disappointing showing in last year’s postseason.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.