The Cavaliers gave a hell of an effort, but just fell short tonight against the Utah Jazz. Some botched Ryan Hollins free throws brought the vicious comeback to a screeching halt and sent Cleveland to its sixth straight loss.
Cavs Leaders: Points: Irving, Jamison, 22; Rebounds: Like every god damn player had 4 of them; Assists: Jamison, 6
This game looked like it was going to be a blowout. As we have come to expect, the Cavs started slow and turned it on late to close the gap. It's not a good habit to develop, truthfully. This particular comeback effort came up short and that will happen when you wait until there are 8 minutes left in the game to actually start playing. Once Cleveland was forced to push the temp and decided to rebound a little bit, they gave Utah all sorts of problems. In the end, it was too little, too late and the Cavs fall to 13-23 on the season.
Gordon Hayward looks like he is 8 years old. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, he does not play like he's 8 years old. Hayward did as he pleased all night -- the Cavs had no answers. He doesn't seem like the type of guy that would dominate a game like this, but he was extremely effective and seemed to be an afterthought for the Cavs defense. They basically just ignored him and let him get open shots. When they failed to get a hand in his face, he made them pay. He drove aggressively to the basket and converted with regularity. I don't know if there's anything to it, but the Jazz coach, Ty Corbin, knocked Hayward out of the starting lineup prior to Monday's game. That may be a good explanation for his increased activity and effort.
Kyrie Irving started the game 0 for 6 from the field and had just 1 point in the first half. The one point came on a technical free throw. In the second half, Kyrie Irving decided to get going and started making some unbelievable plays. He finished 10 of 19 shooting and scored 22 points. Nice recovery, kid. He looked like a different player -- slicing and driving to the rim. He's going to come with some inconsistency because, well, he's a rookie. However, when he is on his game, Kyrie Irving is one of the best scorers in the NBA. That's incredible to say about a first year point guard.
Antawn Jamison has really been playing better as of late. He doesn't score particularly efficiently, but he's been doing it when nobody else can. Jamison averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds in the month of February. You're telling me that some team won't want to give up something minor for that type of production? Come on. Work those phones, Chris Grant.
How the fuck did nobody on the Cavs have more than 4 rebounds? The Cavs got murdered on the boards, 46-30 and nobody had more than 4 rebounds. How does that happen? Super weird.
Al Jefferson torched us again. He had 25 points, 13 boards, and 7 assists. All of those stats would have led the Cavs. Hot damn.
Alonzo Gee played pretty well. Omri Casspi only played 13 minutes. Manny Harris didn't play. Tristan Thompson played 22 minutes and wasn't very effective other than his 3 blocked shots. That's pretty much all I've got.
Fear The Sword's Player Of The Game:
It's gotta be Kyrie Irving. His first half sucked, but he was a beast in the second half. He dragged this team back into the game. There's not really any other option tonight.
It was overall a decent loss. The team showed some fight and got some more pingpong balls for the draft lottery.