clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Final Score: Cavaliers comeback falls short in 98-91 loss to Wizards

The Cavaliers had a lot of things going for them heading into the game. Afterwards? Not so much.

Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote in the preview that the Cavaliers are EXACTLY the team that you can take nothing for granted from. The other team could have been a college team and I wouldn't have felt confident about the Cleveland Cavaliers pulling off this win. Why? Because this team has proven nothing at all. They haven't. No one has a role, and telling us that they found their roles in two days of practice this week means nothing at all. It really doesn't.

This is what cheering for a young team with a coach committed to preaching defense, not committed to working out an offense with imperfect puzzle pieces is going to look like. Is Dion Waiters a shooting guard who plays off the ball and focuses on defense? Or is he a ball dominant point guard creating off the dribble, as he was for much of the 3rd and 4th quarter tonight? Is Tristan Thompson right or left handed? Does it matter if he doesn't take steps forward as a defender?

What is Anthony Bennett?

There will be fun wins, there will be terrible losses. The Cavaliers remain in limbo.

There are no must win games. There are no easy wins. The Cavs were down by 18 at halftime, and that deficit ballooned to 30. There wasn't an intensity fighting for rebounds. Players passed up open 3 pointers for long two pointers off the bounce. It was bad. It was really bad. The halfcourt defense would be solid, a missed shot should have led to an easy rebound, nope, another possession.

Turnover after turnover after turnover in the first half leading to easy transition baskets and sadness. This is a Cavs team that has no idea what it is. They can still win games not knowing what they are if they have Kyrie Irving, defend, and rebound. They didn't consistently get any of those things tonight.

Now, this wasn't all bad. The Cavaliers had a furious comeback, spurred in part by Matthew Dellavedova, sort of Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao, and, finally, Kyrie Irving. They really could have won this game. I don't know how, even though I watched it. But in the long run, this is a game in which we learned that the Cavaliers still have a lot to learn.

These aren't complete thoughts, and maybe I am being dramatic. But Earl Clark is playing the 4 after Mike Brown said he wouldn't. Anthony Bennett is out of the rotation but played in the 3rd quarter because the Cavaliers were getting killed. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao still can't have effective games at the same time.

Andrew Bynum was also horrible.