With their 115-99 loss to the Jazz on Friday, the Cavs are losers yet again, and the win over the LeBron James-less Lakers feel far away already. Such is life when you are a team with a historically bad defense.
NEGATIVE: Defense is something this team will never be good at
It is a well established fact that the Cavs are historically awful on defense and have no hope of slowing down any team. Sometimes, that presents itself in normal ways like getting roasted in a pick-and-roll or Donovan Mitchell doing Donovan Mitchell things.
And then there’s Jordan Clarkson defending Kyle Korver getting absolutely roasted:
The Cavs play the Nuggets tomorrow at altitude. Expect a lot more of this.
POSITIVE: The road trip is almost over
The Cavs need to get home and off this road trip in a bad way. Aside from the win against the Lakers, not a single game has competitive and it does not seem likely that the finale in Denver will go any better.
It helps, too, that the Cavs are hosting the Bulls — who are just as bad as the Cavs — on Monday in their first game after the trip. They still might lose, but at least it’ll be to a taem more on their level.
NEGATIVE: Collin Sexton has a long way to go still
Collin Sexton should get some slack. He’s playing on a roster devoid of talent, for one — a healthy Kevin Love would really help him. He’s a rookie and all rookies are bad. And, as a whole, this Cavs team just isn’t talented and Sexton just can’t rise above it.
At the same time, he is clearly struggling and continues to be defended in ways that cut off his best skills. Against the Jazz, he did make both of his three-pointers, but shot 2-10 otherwise. He had six turnovers against just two assists. And on defense, he had no shot at staying in front of Mitchell. And just take a look at his shot chart — he missed a ton of shots in the area of the floor he always takes shots from.
It’s been clear for weeks that Sexton needs to adjust and try to stretch his game in ways that will push him forward and help him get to the next level. But right now, this is what he is. And it’s not good.