The Cavaliers have a nasty habit of not showing up in games against terrible teams, especially when those terrible teams don’t have their star playing. They were absolutely decimated on their home floor against Orlando, and tonight, they fell to the D’Angelo Russell-less Brooklyn Nets squad 112-107.
The Cavaliers were, as they often have been this young season, listless on offense and defense, turning the ball over 21 times and allowing the Nets to hoist 46 (!!!) threes.
J.R. Smith continued his icy start to the season, finishing 1-9 from the field and 0-5 from three, while Kevin Love also had a rough day shooting at 4-13. He was also sloppy with the ball, turning it over six times with zero assists. LeBron James was sharp on offense, finishing with a triple-double with 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, though he turned the ball over eight times.
Nobody had it in this game outside of James, Kyle Korver (who scored 22 off the bench) and Jeff Green (who dropped 18 off the bench).
This loss stings two-fold for the Cavaliers. Not only did they lose to a terrible team for the second time this season, they also hurt their own draft pick by allowing the Nets a win. These two teams will play four times this season. The Nets leaving the season series winless would be a help in the ping pong balls lottery, and instead, they hurt their chances. This ultimately probably won’t matter, but if the Nets end up being one win ahead of one of their counterparts near the bottom of the NBA standings, the Cavaliers will only have themselves to blame.
These are the kinds of games that are frustrating to watch for fans. The Cavs had terrible energy and body language, didn’t try particularly hard, and then were stunned that they were engaging a Nets team that had gotten into a rhythm. Sure, this probably won’t matter and the team will likely waltz to the Finals again, but watching Cavs games is a fun hobby for most - it’s never ideal when your leisure time is this little fun.
Nonetheless, the Cavaliers will have plenty more games like this. They will be frustrating, and they’re literally never going to change. Luckily, they’re amazing most of the time, so these are just part of the program.
The Cavs have another back-to-back on the schedule this weekend when they visit the Pelicans and then host the Knicks. My guess? We’ll have another frustrating set of games until they get things ironed out.