This was an all-around terrible effort. They lacked the energy and intensity to even make this game competitive. The Brooklyn Nets jumped out to a huge lead and cruised to a 113-95 win at the Q. Here's what the coaches and players had to say after the game.
"I'm disappointed. After the effort we had in Atlanta, to come back and play this way, I'm very disappointed in the way we played. They just didn't show me life. Like I said, the energy and effort wasn't there for whatever reason. After praising how hard we played in Atlanta and then we come back and play this way."
It's hard to remember, but it's worth noting that the Cavs really did put forth a strong effort against the Hawks. They were fiery and refused to just roll over and die. But then last night happened and everybody started talking about how the team had quit again.
"Nowadays, playing hard seems to be a skill. To be playing hard is your job, simple as that. Basically, that's all we ask of you is to come out, just compete and play hard every single night. Not every other night. Every night."
Twitter exploded last night when Rick Noland of the Medina Gazette tweeted this quote from Kyrie:
kyrie on whether scott has lost players: "I think you should ask him. I'm not going to be the one to answer that."— Rick Noland MG/CT (@RickNoland) April 4, 2013
Based on that quote, it certainly sounds like Byron has lost his players. Unfortunately for everybody that wants to overreact, that's not what Kyrie said. Kyrie said "I think you should ask THEM," -- which is much different, in my opinion. He's referring to his teammates and their lack of energy. I think it's definitely true that some players in the locker room have checked out but it doesn't seem like Kyrie is one of those people. He's challenging his teammates rather than throwing his coach under the bus. That's a big difference and far less exciting for people of Twitter. Sorry, guys.
"I feel that we have to come out with the mindset that we're a good basketball club, no matter what our record shows. We've been in a lot of games this season no matter what. We know the potential of this team and I feel like these ten losses in a row can be given to a couple of us for not mentally being ready and guys not coming out with the same intensity. I feel like right now we're not playing to win."
CJ also spoke about the team's energy level.
"I don't know. If I knew I would have been able to say something to help change it. Both ways we were trying to find our rhythm tonight and I think when they finally made contact on one of their swings, we laid down. I don't feel like we swung back or even tried to get up. I think it trickles down through everyone too. For the bench to come in with a team rolling like that, it's tough to dig out of. We just didn't compete as a team."
I strongly urge you to go listen to CJ's interview. I think he's very clear and level-headed about the whole situation. He's explaining how guys are acting and why he thinks the team plays that way. But again, he doesn't think Byron Scott is the problem (can you tell that I'm working up towards writing a huge article about Byron's place as the coach of the Cavs?).