Not so fast, Cleveland. Just as it appeared that the Cavs were making strides towards respectability, they take another huge step back. An embarrassing 115-100 loss at home to the Wizards was not exactly the follow-up to Friday's win that Cavs fans were hoping for. Sunday's matchup against the Washington Wizards had been promoted as a clash of two teams that could do nothing but lose. The Wizards could not win on the road and the Cavaliers could not win at all. Some of the hype had died down once the Cavaliers defeated the Clippers on Friday night to end their 26 game losing streak, however, this game still featured two historically bad teams.
I'll be the first to admit that I got a bit too excited after the win over the Clippers. After coming so close and actually being competitive in many of their recent games, it appeared that the Cavs may have finally gotten over the hump. I did not mean to overlook the immense lack of talent and experience on the roster, but I was willing to believe that Byron Scott had gotten through to the young players and Mo Williams' return would lead to more consistent basketball in the near future. Boy, was I wrong.
It became apparent early on that the Wizards were intent on changing their perfectly miserable road record of 0-25. I have heard of the "Super Bowl hangover" which causes teams that just won the Super Bowl to come out less motivated and unprepared for the following season, I just never realized that the Cavaliers win over the Clippers on Friday was their Super Bowl. Sure, it was great to end the embarrassing losing streak, but I mostly expected the team to use the momentum from Friday night to move in the right direction. Instead, Cleveland came out with lackadaisical play early and got torched by a less than stellar Wizards team. Nick Young scored 31 points and the Wizards scored 68 in the first half alone. Needless to say, the Cavaliers didn't play much defense. The lack of defense and general lack of talent on the offensive end led to an early 20-point deficit that the Cavs never overcame.
Overall, this game was a complete letdown and utter disappointment coming off of the emotional high from Friday. The effort was lacking, the focus was lacking, and as usual, the talent was lacking. Mo Williams, who looked so spry and healthy in the previous game, never found his shot (3 for 9 from the field) and committed 7 turnovers. Rookie John Wall also dismantled Williams' defense to the tune of 19 points and 14 assists. To make matters worse, Daniel "Boobie" Gibson left with yet another hamstring injury. I mistakenly allowed myself to get a bit excited about the win over Los Angeles, but I guess the Cleveland faithful will have to continue to be patient in what will undoubtedly be a long and painful rebuilding process.
The Cavaliers continue their homestand when the Los Angeles Lakers come to Quicken Loans Arena, Wednesday at 7:30 PM ET.