The Cleveland Cavaliers lost another game. They looked solid in the first half, but had a horrible second half and stalled on offense. Sound familiar? It's becoming a pretty standard formula for this team. In the first half, the Cavs shot a good percentage and scored 52 points. They trailed by six points at the break, but were very much in the game. In the second half, they fell apart and lost to the Wizards, 96-83.
The defense improved in the second half as the Washington Wizards scored just 38 points and shot 33.3% from the floor. But the Cavs' offense was brutal. They scored 31 points and shot 25.7% Cleveland had 6 turnovers and 4 assists in the final 24 minutes. That's....bad.
Perhaps the most notable part of the Cavs' atrocious offense was the complete lack of a threat from behind the arc. They shot 1 of 10 from three in the second half and 2 of 18 overall. I guess that's what happens when you're missing 2 of your top 3 three-point shooters.
Let's not pretend that the Cavs' offense has been good all season...but it's been better lately. Without C.J. Miles, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao, there's very little chance of this offense playing well.
In the preview (my version!) for tonight's game, I talked about the playoffs. I talked about how it's getting harder and harder for me to picture this Cavs team making the postseason despite how weak the Eastern Conference is this year. After tonight's loss, they're 5 games out. There are 25 games left. It's looking pretty bleak. Of course, I want to see this team play hard and get better and fight until the end, but I think we might need to start accepting reality. This team hasn't been good enough. They've been better recently, but they dug themselves a huge hole at the beginning of the season. Alas.
I'll say a few things about this game now:
- Spencer Hawes was actually quite good. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds. He was scrappy and active and showed great touch down near the basket. He's definitely going to have some frustrating moments, but I think he'll help the Cavs a good deal.
- Jarrett Jack had a miserable game. The Cavs were playing their best when Jack was playing minimal minutes. With Waiters and Miles out, Mike Brown didn't have much of a choice. But...yeesh.
- Matthew Dellavedova hit a bit of a shooting slump. He was 0 for 4 from behind the arc tonight.
- The Cavs had a huge advantage in free throws, but it didn't really matter. They made 21 of their 26 foul shots. The Wizards made 6 of their 10 foul shots. But the Cavs' offense still wasn't good enough.
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