Today is a big day in Cleveland Cavaliers franchise history. They need a win today thanks to a Derrick Rose game winner at the buzzer Friday night. This is a must win game for Cleveland without a doubt not wanting to go down 3-1 to the Bulls. The Cavaliers are banged up right now with Shumpert, Irving and obviously Kevin Love less than 100% or out. But they are not offering any excuses because of injuries which is a good thing. I have not been overly impressed with the Bulls two wins in this series. In game one they shot exceptionally well, while in game three Rose banked in the game winner enough said. Defensively and on the boards the Bulls have turned up the aggression to which Cleveland needs to answer back. Another key is the play of Kyrie Irving who was averaging 25 points per game in the series. Irving only had 11 points on 3/13 shooting on Friday night. I don’t know if it was the injury or the Bulls defense that slowed him down. Whatever the case is Irving needs to drop 20+ points today and be a factor in this game. Lebron James is averaging a near triple double in this series, but he is only shooting 39% from the field. He needs to shoot higher percentage and finish better at the rim. He is also is leading everybody with 15 turnovers in the series of which 7 came in game three. James and Irving are the two best players in this series by far. Today is the day they put their mark on this series and this franchise. It’s not about the other players who still need to contribute. It’s about James and Irving today bringing this back to Cleveland tied up 2-2 period.
Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are talented players with a lot learn about NBA basketball. The first lesson they need to learn is they are playing with the best player on the planet. Lebron James has played in four straight NBA finals. He won two rings in his tenure in Miami. So there is plenty to learn from the King about winning. These two talked good during training camp and the preseason about learning from Lebron, but seem to be drifting back to their old selfish ways. Three games into the season nobody should be panicking. Some conversations will be had about teamwork and sacrificing for the good of the team.
Over the next couple weeks we are going to find out if Irving and Waiters want to be winners or just self-serving basketball players. I hope these two figure what’s needs to be done to become championship contenders. When the best player in the world decides to come home and be unselfish to win rings I applaud that. James expects these guys to be unselfish like he is willing to be.
Cleveland has twelve games left in the month November with eight of them at home. That’s favorable for a team trying to find a winning chemistry. I hope these two youngsters figure out what they could have with King James because it could be championship special if they really want it.
- Looked like a full house at the Q.
- Ball movement on offense was great tonight.
- There wasn’t a lot of defensive intensity.
- James, Love, and Irving looked good together.
- Kevin Love’s outlet passes will lead a lot of easy baskets.
- Mike Miller and James Jones are knock down 3 point shooters.
- David Blatt knows basketball.
- Tristan Thompson looked good and stronger.
- Unselfish play is the key for this team.
- Welcome back King James.
With Cleveland facing the #1 defensive team in the NBA with their split personality offense you know the game was going to get ugly. With 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the score tied 68-68. Cleveland was outscored 23-6 over the next 10 minutes to lose this game. It didn’t help that their best offensive player went down with an injury in the 3rd quarter. Indiana came into the game giving up a league leading 89 points per game Cleveland didn’t even come close to that number. In two games against the Pacers Cleveland is averaging 75 points per game. At 10-21 Cleveland is about to become lottery team again this season something Dan Gilbert said wasn’t going to happen.
35 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists
Irving went down with an injury in the 3rd quarter not sure of his status for the next game. Without him Cleveland will be hard pressed to keep up with the worst teams in the league.
14 minutes, 5 points
Miles didn’t show up for this game in his limited minutes. When his shot isn’t falling he will not get a lot playing time.
30 minutes, 14 points, and 11 rebounds
Andy did the best he could against Roy Hibbert he is just too small to guard him. This is where the failed Andrew Bynum experiment hurts. They have no big man on the roster who can guard a real center.
34 minutes, 7 points and 4 rebounds
Another mismatch in the Pacers favor Clark couldn’t stay with Paul George. Clark has a shaky handle at best so that relegates him 3 point specialist. Cleveland missed on this free agent signing so far.
36 minutes, 7 points and 13 rebounds
Another player with limited offensive ability Cleveland seems to have a lot these kind of players. If Cleveland had some frontcourt scoring you could live with Thompson’s limited offense because he does other things like rebounding.
Impact Bench Player
35 minutes, 12 points and 4 rebound
Nobody really played well for Cleveland in this game. Waiters needs to start and make up with Kyrie if they have a beef between them.
Stats That Caught My Eye
Pacers +16 in points in the paint.
Frontcourt scoring Indiana 48 Cleveland 28
Cleveland shot 8% on three pointers
Cleveland getting to the make or break point of the season in the watered down Eastern Conference. They need to pick up some wins or they could be lottery bound again. Offensive talent is missing on this squad and until they get some it’s going to be rough going.
Cleveland scored a season high 35 points in the 1st quarter only to score 35 points combined in the 3rd and 4th. Either the Cavaliers offense got really bad or the Warriors played really good defense. The 1st quarter was the best offensive display I have seen from the Cavaliers all season. The 2nd quarter wasn’t too bad either they scored 29 points. I wonder what would happen if Cleveland would play 4 good quarters in a game. Cleveland is now 10-20 on the season and slipped to 8-7 at home.
40 minutes, 29 points, 9 dimes, and 3 triples
Irving again led the scoring charge for his team. On the offensive end Kyrie can score in every way and create for his teammates when he wants to evidence what he did in this game.
23 minutes, 17 points, and 3 treys
Miles came off the MIA list for this game and gave Cleveland some much needed scoring. This is not what you get every night from Miles for some reason. He has some offensive ability it just doesn’t come out every game.
36 minutes, 8 points, and 12 rebounds
Varejao just works and out works everybody on the court every night. He just doesn’t give you the scoring needed. Andy is the heart and soul of this team. Varejao and Thompson are basically the same player which hurts the team offensively.
13 minutes, 6 points and 4 rebounds
Another snooze fest for Clark who is getting his 2nd chance as a starter. The small forward spot may not be for him. I wonder how long it will be before Brown makes another change at this spot.
39 minutes, 17 points, and 12 rebounds.
Thompson getting a double-double is a good thing for Cleveland. Thompson is very mechanical on offense but can be effective when the shots are going in. Cleveland needs a frontcourt scorer to break up the Varejao and Thompson combination who are limited on offense.
Impact Bench Player
34 minutes, 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists
Another decent game for Jack off the bench. Jack is getting a lot minutes in the three guard lineup. Jack’s production has been much better lately he needs to play well for Cleveland to be competitive the rest of the season.
Stats That Caught My Eye
Points in the paint Warriors +24
Rebounds Warriors +8
Assists Warriors +9
The Cavaliers offense has split personality they in the 1st half and score 64 points. Then in the 2nd half they score 35 points matching their 1st quarter total. Cleveland just can’t play well for 4 quarters sometime during the game an offensive drought will happen or missed defensive assignment has cost Cleveland most of the season.
Cleveland erased an 19 point lead in the 4th quarter only to fall to Boston on the road. Cleveland has now lost 4 games in a row. They are now 2-13 on the road and 10-19 overall. Cleveland may need to make some changes to jumpstart the season because the East is still wide open. The first change was to get rid of Andrew Bynum look for some other moves to happen.
41 minutes, 32 points, 3 assists, and 4 treys
Irving is always going to be a constant on offense. It’s the other areas of the game he needs to improve. He starting to shoot better which is good for Cleveland. He is among the league leaders in shot attempts I don’t whether that’s good or bad.
10 minutes, 0 points
Mike Brown replaced Alonzo Gee in the starting lineup. Now it’s time to move Miles out he’s not bringing anything of value. As long as Brown keeps running him out there over Waiters Cleveland will be hard pressed to get some wins.
29 minutes, 6 points and 8 rebounds
Andy brings more than stats to the game and what he does can’t be measured. He just out works everybody every night. Cleveland’s more talented players should take notice it would help their games.
24 minutes, 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 treys
Clark has turned into a 3 point specialist who defensive ability is not good as advertised. Clark tried to get to the hole off the bounce but he couldn’t finish anything.
26 minutes, 7 points and 7 rebounds
On a day when Tristan didn’t contribute anything on offense he had trouble defending Brandon Bass who is not an all-star. This is becoming a disturbing trend against just decent power forwards.
Impact Bench Player
31 minutes, 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists
Waiters don’t have good shooting day but still can just flat score the ball which Cleveland needs with that weak starting 5. Cleveland needs to be careful what they do with Dion it could backfire on them.
Stats That Caught My Eye
- Cleveland had only 2 starters in double figure scoring.
- Cleveland was +12 in points in the paint.
- Boston had 4 starters in double figure scoring.
We all know the offensive side of the ball is a weakness for Mike Brown. Evidence none of his out-of-bounds play never work. With 1.4 seconds left in the game Cleveland couldn’t get the ball to any of its shooters. Brown needs to let somebody run the offense I think Cleveland be better off in the long run.
Next: Golden State
Cleveland had a 88-81 lead with six minutes left in the 4th quarter only to have Atlanta outscore them 14-7 to tie the game and send it into overtime. Jeff Teague hit the game winner in the 2nd overtime as time expired. The Cavaliers couldn’t close this game out because lack of execution and mistakes. They drop to 10-18 and continue to spiral downward this season.
45 minutes, 40 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals
Normally I would call this a monster game but let’s look at a couple of things. Teague had 34 points and 14 assists so that cancels out what Irving did in my opinion. Also he had 2 turnovers late in the 4th quarter that were costly. Irving matched his career high in FGA with 33 and set career high in FGM with 17. Your lead guard needs to balance getting his shots with making his teammates better that’s not happening with Kyrie right now. The more I see him play the more I think he is a score first lead guard.
13 minutes, 10 points, and 2 treys
If your starting shooting only plays 13 minutes what is he starting for in the first place. That could be more minutes for Waiters not sure why Mike Brown keeps doing this.
17 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, and 1 block
Who knew this was Bynum’s last game as a Cavalier. Whatever happened cost both parties no matter what is said.
18 minutes, 3 points and 5 rebounds
Clark was put back into the starting lineup and he stinks the joint up right away. Cleveland has too many holes in their starting 5 to get this kind of production.
46 minutes, 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks
Thompson had good offensive game against the Hawks. Tristan struggled guarding Paul Millsap who is not an elite power forward. He is decent but he looked like all-star against Cleveland.
Impact Bench Player
41 minutes, 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists
Waiters is the 2nd best scorer on this team that is offensively challenged even when they score 100 points or more. I will keep saying this Dion should be the starting shooting guard no matter what issues he has with Irving or Thompson. Waiters has a crazy upside that Cleveland shouldn’t want to lose.
Stats That Caught My Eye
- Atlanta was +11 in assists.
- Atlanta had 4 starters with 20 or more points.
- Hawks +11 in 2nd chance points.
Cleveland needs to learn how to win and play as a team. Kyrie Irving doesn’t trust his teammates to make shots. Mike Brown hasn’t grown a coach in my opinion due to his game decisions. The Cavaliers are underperforming and Brown is the one who needs to get turned around before it really gets ugly.
Next: @ Boston