The Cavaliers have almost played exclusively well in their first two preseason games, but with a series of core players sitting, they finally showed what it might look like when they’re either short-handed or overwhelmed from a talent perspective in a 111-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Kevin Love, Jordan Clarkson, David Nwaba and Rodney Hood all sat with various minor maladies in this game, and with them went the majority of the Cavaliers shot creation. Making matters worse, the Cavs lost Cedi Osman for the night with ankle soreness after just seven minutes of action.
As a result, the team was forced into awkward, cramped offense all night with almost nobody to destabilize the defense.
One of those players that conceivably should’ve thrived with a large workload was Collin Sexton, but he really struggled on Monday night. Sexton finished with just three points on 1-7 shooting from the field while turning the ball over three times to go along with three assists in his 22 minutes.
If anybody stood out for the Cavaliers on offense, it was without question Kyle Korver - Korver sat the second game for rest purposes, but proved why he likely deserves a space in this rotation, bagging four threes to finish with 17 points on the night. Korver’s activity will open up space for a Cavaliers team that will rely significantly on their ability as cutters off-ball during the regular season, and he continued to prove he’s still a thread.
With so many bodies missing, there ultimately wasn’t much to take away from this game. If the result served to do anything, it will show that it could get quite ugly if the team deals with injuries this season.
The Cavaliers close their preseason on Oct. 12 against Detroit at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Did you know Dan Gilbert likes stuff from Michigan and that he want to Michigan Sate?