Friday, February 19, 2010

Tough Loss

Tough loss. I saw the fourth quarter and OT of the Cavs-Nuggets game but only caught glimpses of the first two thirds of the game. From what I saw, the word that sums up the loss to me is 'sloppy'. The Cavs missed their free throws, they missed some layups, and they only had a passing interest in rebounding the ball (you could definitely tell that they had a full week off).

The offense down the stretch? Bad. Yes, LeBron had an awesome game but he took some TERRIBLE shots in the fourth quarter and OT. James had 43 points, 13 boards, 15 assists and 4 blocks- spectacular. However, he was 1-9 from behind the arc and he just murdered the offense down the stretch.

Now, it's not totally his fault (not that you can fault a guy with 43-13-15 but the dude was 1-9 from downtown). In OT, Mike Brown had a lineup of Boobie, AP, LeBron, Varejao and Shaq, two spot up (re: stand around and wait) shooters, a guy who can only score in the pick and roll and an aging post man. Yes, neither Mo Williams nor Delonte were having the best of games, but at least they can handle the ball and create a shot.

And about the last shot in OT... yes, LeBron slipped, but wow. That's the play that was drawn up? Down two with 1.9 to go, get LeBron the ball 27 feet from the hoop? Really? What the fuck? Can you at least fake a lob pass so Denver has to think about guarding something? No picks, no misdirection.... nothing. What was LeBron going to do 27 feet from the hoop with 1.9 seconds left? There's no way they could've gotten a closer shot? You only needed two points, you don't need the three. Now I know why Antawn Jamison said that the pregame handshakes will be tougher to learn than the offense.

Frustrating, very frustrating.

Now the Nuggets are 2-0 against the Cavs. Expect to hear about this from ESPN. This is why regular season records don't matter. Do you feel like the Nuggets are a better team than Cleveland? I don't. The first loss came without Carmelo Anthony, one of those games that the Cavs didn't take particularly seriously. Then last night, LeBron is missing layups and Varejao is having passes bounce off his hands (again, sloppy, sloppy game). Just think about the Nuggets the next time you're touting the Cavs record against the Lakers and Magic.

The Cavs face the Charlotte Bobcats tonight, here's hoping Cleveland comes to play.


The Other Ben said...

Do they ever come to play against Charlotte? Haven't they beat us 4 out of the past 5? Charlotte, while still missing some parts, just GETS AFTER IT on defense. Larry Brown has those guys playing at the highest level since the franchise's inception. If the Cavs don't come out with a fury after last nights Denver loss, this game will be the front page write-up over at Bawful.

Erik said...

Get ready for the write-up then. 110-93 Bobcats.

Cavs are right back to where they were at the start of the season with muddled rotations and a complete loss of focus.

A couple more games like this, and the second-guessing on the Jamo deal will begin both locally and nationally.

We should have known that a major shake-up plus a weeklong layoff would result in a slump. But it's not going to stop the scribes and pundits from declaring the Cavs ripe for the kill, especially as Orlando continues to heat up.

davemanddd said...

yeah erik, just like they did with the shaquisition, i can see all the talking heads lambasting the cavs for the jamo trade too. it's already started with the most annoying talking head out there in the form of avery johnson doing his best impression of a squealing pig while scratching a chalkboard as he called the cavs "the best regular season team in the nba" as a more than obvious slap at their inability to win a title so far with lebron. to make matters worse he went on to say that 'melo was the better player on thursday night simply because 'melo hit his game-winning shot with 1.9 seconds left and lebron missed his at the buzzer. um, didn't lebron have a triple-double there, avery??? the last time i checked 43-13-15 was an awesome game. so when was the last time somebody put up numbers similar to that??? does the name pete maravich ring a bell back in the 70's??? yes, 'melo scored 40 and hit what ultimately proved to be the game-winning shot, but had lebron not slipped and actually hit a game-winning 3 himself, would you be singing your same off-key tune??? i don't think so.

Erik said...

And can I also say that Jamo should be starting?

I know that Jamo was a SMOTY a couple years back, and I understand the whole idea behind not wanting to mess with JJ's confidence. But Jamo has come off the bench in something like three games in the last three years.

He's used to staring, they brought him in to play alongside Shaq, and if Jamo is averaging 30 minutes a night, he'll still get plenty of chances to be the primary post player when Shaq isn't on the floor.

If Jamo continues to come off the bench, it's going to start reeking of the early season Shaq-and-Z experiment, where MB keeps force-feeding a lineup that isn't working.