Ughhh. The Cavaliers came out with some energy and seemed motivated for this one, but that quickly faded. After hanging around with the Sixers for some of the first half, the two teams just started going through the motions and Cleveland ultimately lost 103-85 to send their record to 17-30.
Cavs Leaders: Points: Parker, 14; Rebounds: Gee, 9; Assists: Irving, 7
Bleh. That's my quick thought.
My less-quick thoughts would be that this season is about to get hard. I know that I've been calling for the Cavs to lose games to optimize their draft position, but watching crappy performances every night is going to wear on me/you. Nobody really performed all that well and since April is going to be an absolute nightmare schedule-wise, Byron Scott isn't about to waste Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson in games that are well out of hand. When you have to save guys since you're playing 16 games in 23 days, you end up with games like last night. You'll have the bench playing even more extended minutes. You'll have Luke Walton and Omri Casspi on the floor at the same time. It just becomes hard to watch, but I guess I brought it upon myself when I asked for the team to tank.
I'm not going to overreact (yet), but over the past ten games, Kyrie Irving is shooting just 42.1% from the floor. He's still 18.7 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game, but the point is that he's doing it less efficiently. Ky has set an unbelievable standard for himself in the beginning parts of the season and it seems that he may be hitting a minor wall. That's expected and essentially acceptable considering how amazing his rookie campaign has been. With the schedule getting more strenuous (a post on this later), I'd be slightly concerned about The Kid staying energized and being able to grind it out every night. Keep in mind, he's just 20 years old. He's handled the transition to the NBA and professional life with exceptional fluidity. Don't jump on him if April is below his ungodly standards of efficiency.
Someone's who has certainly seen their production take a dip is Antawn Jamison. In his past 10 games, he's shooting 36.4% from the field and scoring just over 16 points per game. That's basically unacceptably inefficient. He's putting points up, but it takes him way too many shots to do it.
It's nice to see Manny Harris finally get the playing time that we were all clamoring for. He's making the most of it and has put up some respectable numbers. It's also quite apparent that he is not yet the solid backup that people envisioned him to be. He makes a number of careless and flat-out poor decisions each night and seems to be trying to bite off a bit more than he can chew. It makes sense. He's trying to make a good impression in the limited time that he gets. Ultimately, however, the best thing he can do is just make the right play on every possession. Don't try to be a superhero and hit the 11-pointer to get back in the game. Just do the right thing -- that's what Coach Scott will appreciate and recognize the most.
Here's a weird stat for you: the Sixers had 54 points in the paint while the Cavs had just 24. Meanwhile, however, the Cavs shot 28 free throws to the Sixers 5. That's a weird stat. The Cavs were aggressive. Actually, so were the Sixers. It's just that the Cavs offered zero resistance to the Sixers once they got into the paint.
The Cavs had no idea what to do to stop Jodie Meeks. Meeks scored 31 points on 11-16 shooting and absolutely lit it up from downtown (7-10). As a team, the Sixers shot 48.9% from the floor. The Cavs shot 40% from the floor. These are some of the reasons that the Cavaliers lost by 18.
Fear The Sword's Player Of The Game:
Much to the chagrin of many of my readers, this award goes to Anthony Parker. He was basically the only Cavalier that did anything good on Tuesday night. He led the team in scoring (!?!!?!) with 14 points and did it on 5 of 7 shooting. Blind squirrel, meet nut.