The Cavs losing to the Nets on a Spencer Dinwiddie game-winner feels right. Final score: Nets 108, Cavs 106. Let’s get into it.
But first, watch Kevin Porter Jr.’s dunk again:
Positive: Jordan Clarkson gets buckets
Jordan Clarkson can sometime shoot the Cavs out of games. He is often a bad defender and his long-term fit in Cleveland is suspect at best. But Clarkson is currently the Cavs’ most reliable scorer and had a great game against the Nets. In 26 minutes off the bench, Clarkson finished with 23 points on 8-17 shooting (including 5-7 on three-pointers) and was the best part of the Cavs’ offense in the fourth quarter. This is as efficient as Clarkson can be:
This is not a sustainable thing. But Clarkson can pay really well and come up big. He’s also been on fire in his last five games. Spot the lie:
Negative: Defense at the end of the game
To Cleveland’s credit, they fought to get back in Monday’s game. There were multiple offensive rebounds in the final minutes to create extra possessions and a number of stops to keep the game close. But after the Cavs missed their chances to go ahead, Dinwiddie got the ball with on an inbounds pass and hit a shot that was just too open.
Dinwiddie is good and he made the shots. He deserves all the credit. It just could have been defended better.
Positive: Good games from Cedi Osman and Larry Nance Jr.
Both Osman and Nance are glue guys for the Cavs now and moving forward. Neither are going to be stars, but both are solid players, good locker presences and on affordable contracts for the next several years. Both have also been inconsistent this season.
But both played well on Tuesday. Osman had perhaps his best offensive game of the season on 6-8 shooting and featuring several good finishes inside. Sans the Dinwiddie defense at the end, he was largely good on defense too. This is largely what Cleveland needs from Osman.
As for Nance, he was 8-16 from the field and was as willing to take the open looks the Nets gave him as he’s been against any team this year. He also pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds and was part of the group that helped the Cavs get back in the game.
He and Tristan Thompson did struggled to defend the paint — the Nets scored 60 points in the paint vs. the Cavs’ 48 — but both were solid with Kevin Love out. And in Nance’s case, it’s one of his better performances of the season.
The Cavs are off tomorrow before hosting the Magic on Wednesday. It’s to-be-determined if Kevin Love will play, but that would certainly help Cleveland. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.