Well that was disappointing.
On one hand the Cavaliers probably had no business winning this game, on the other hand they had a big lead and if they didn't fail to execute down the stretch they would have came away with a win. There are plenty positives to take away from this game, and then there are the same disturbing trends that need to be weeded out in order for this season to be turned around. It's been that kind of year for the Cavaliers.
- Stephen Curry is incredible. He came up one rebound short of a triple double. While he had a quiet second half, he hit big shots when they mattered.
- Dion Waiters and Harrison Barnes had rough games to say the least. They both made a case supporting David Thorpe ranking them outside of the top 15 sophomore players. Hopefully this two game slump from Waiters is just due to the tendinitis in his wrist and he can get back on track. But he seems to be pressing at the moment.
- Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett gave the Cavs solid minutes off the bench. While Bennett shot poorly (shocking I know), he played decent defense and seemed active. While Zeller isn't anywhere near as strong in the post as Bynum, he moves his feet and gets in position to draw charges. That activity was something the Cavaliers defense was lacking.
- The Cavaliers seem to play much more loose and trusting early in games, but when the game is on the line they get dribble/ jumper happy and the offense stagnates. This is part of the maturity process that needs to happen for this team. The problem gets compounded by the fact that they have three ball dominant guards on the court down the stretch. While that lineup is very effective at times, Irving, Jack and Waiters all are culpable for putting their head down and dancing with the ball. When they finally give the ball up it's often so late in the shot clock a quality look is unattainable. It's a team-wide problem that needs to be addressed.
- This game would be a lot easier to take if there weren't four consecutive loses prior to it. It's frustrating and exhausting... but patience and short term memory are necessary right now. The team is making real progress and due to the poor quality of the East they aren't falling that far behind. The progress they are making is more important than anything else right now.