The Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards may be rivals once again with both teams supposed to contend in the Eastern Conference. For now, it looks as if Washington is ahead of the Cavs and not just in terms of record.
Led by point guard John Wall, the Wizards got out early against the Cavs and never truly let the Cavs back in the game - even when the Wizards scored a whopping 11 points in the fourth quarter. With the Cavs using some unexpected lineups, Wall and the Wizards offense attacked, and often scored, at will. As a result, Washington had a 13 point lead after two quarters.
The Cavs' lethargic pass continued well into the second half. There was a point in the third quarter where Cleveland made a push and brought the lead under single digits, but from then on, the Wizards played at a pace Cleveland seemingly could not keep it with. The Cavs, for the most part, looked flatfooted and operated on a different gear than the Wizards.
But Wall went off in the third, scoring 17 of his 28 points in the period. In the end, the Cavs fell by a final score of 91-78.
Wall lead all scorers with 28 points. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each had 22 points for the Cavaliers, while Kevin Love had eight. The Cavaliers return to Cleveland tomorrow to take on the Toronto Raptors.
- Just going to leave this here: LeBron played 39 minutes tonight and Irving played 40. Love only played 31, as he sat for a long stretch in the second half.
- Love, however, does not look particularly comfortable. His shots aren't falling still and a large majority of them come behind the 3-point line after Love is passed the ball. Love, it seems, could use some more touches were he could operate out of the high post or on the block like he so often did with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Love also should be used more in pick and rolls with Irving and James. It's had to see how a James/Love PNR is less effective than the James/Thompson version.
- Cavs coach David Blatt went with some seriously funky lineups in the first half. Seeing both Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller get early minutes was a surprise. To a lesser extent, so was Dion Waiters sitting the entire first quarter, and it's evidence that Blatt is still figuring the bench out.
- The Cavs finished 36 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range. And only one Cavaliers shot at least 50 percent from the field: Shawn Marion, who was 2-4 from the floor.