The Cavaliers have lost three in a row after last night's 100-88 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. That much is set in stone, but there were some good things to be seen in the loss, things that could be "played forward" into the next few games and that could -- maybe -- stop the bleeding before it gets out of hand.
Obviously J.J. Hickson was the first star of the game for Cleveland, to borrow a hockey phrase. A career high thirty-one points in 32 minutes, and on only seventeen shots -- not too shabby at all. Unfortunately, though, when the Hawks concentrated on stopping Hickson, nobody else was really able to step up. But that happens sometimes, just as a first quarter like Atlanta put up happens sometimes. Cleveland focused on not giving up the easy inside baskets that the Kings had, and Atlanta was unconscious from outside.
Mo Williams got his feet wet and scored a dozen, though on only 4-of-12 shooting. You have to think that percentage will improve once Mo gets some more game action. And of course, the Cavs were without Antawn Jamison. Seems as if, when one part is fixed, another part breaks down.
But that, too, happens.
The next two games are on the road, in Philadelphia and in Washington in a back-to-back this weekend. We will see if the Cavs can snap out of this little funk, and if Hickson can be a reliable force that can be built around, and not be outstanding one night and a non-factor the next. Philadelphia is still winless and Washington has won one game -- against Philly last night. Maybe the pieces will start to gel now. After all, we did beat the Celtics and give the Hawks fits before fading down the stretch.
And who knows, maybe we could actually have one game somewhere along the line wherein all of our key players could -- play.