On Sunday afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Atlanta Hawks 117-115 in a letdown performance at home following an all-time great individual performance from LeBron on Friday against the Wizards. The Cavs made it close in the end, but they couldn’t ultimately pull it out and now drop to a paltry 4-6 on the season.
Needless to say, the, Cavs aren’t exactly starting this semester out with strong hopes of making the dean’s list.
Editor’s note: For future games, we’ll be grading every player who plays for the Cavs. Would love to hear your thoughts on us doing grades as well. Inbox/DMs are always open. - Chris
LeBron James: B
It was no surprise that LeBron didn’t follow his historic performance from Friday against the Hawks, and to be honest it’s unfair to expect him to carry that kind of burden just so the Cavs can squeak out some regular season wins. LeBron should be able to play games like he did today (which was still REALLY good), especially against a talent-devoid team like the Hawks, and still win, but that hasn’t been the case so far this season. He needs help, especially from his fellow starters.
Kevin Love: C-
Love has really struggled to make an impact for the Cavs this season, an unexpected outcome considering the abrupt exit of Kyrie Irving, and yesterday was no exception. He seemed invisible out there and was rather lackadaisical and inattentive on both ends. The Cavs need him to become more assertive going forward. Love exited the game early due to an undisclosed illness, but this has been a recurring trend that needs to be corrected soon if the Cavs hope to end this free fall any time soon.
Dwyane Wade: B+
Wade looked fairly good early on, as he was efficient and engaged on the offensive end early on and helped the Cavs keep it close in the second quarter before the Hawks pulled away again. Wade finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in his best game as a Cavalier to date, but it was all for nought. The spacing issues that his presence in the starting lineup creates are apparent, but this is perhaps a good sign that he’s beginning to acclimate to his new role on this team.
Derrick Rose: D
Let’s cut to the chase: Derrick Rose is not very good at basketball anymore. While his explosiveness seems to have returned in a strong way, he just can’t make an impact on games like he could once upon a time. He struggles with playmaking, is regularly inefficient, and doesn’t really make consistent, positive contributions to the team effort in any palatable way, and that was on full display yesterday as he was roasted on both ends by Dennis Schroeder.
The Cavs’ next game is on Wednesday, where they will attempt to bounce back against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at the Q.