The Cavs were playing the second game of a back to back on the road against one of the league’s best teams. They weren’t going to win this game, in all likelihood.
Now that that’s out of the way, this game was a disaster.
The Cavs were going to have to work to keep things competitive, and they did not work to keep things competitive. They shot 36% from the field, 21% from three point range. They lost every quarter, and gave up 30+ points every quarter. Cedi Osman and Kevin Love had the best +/-’s of the starters at -27. The team scored 36 points in the first half. Tristan Thompson led the team in assists. I could go on.
The Sixers, by comparison, were mainly executing a layup line. They shot 63% from the field , and 42% from three point range. Ben Simmons looked like a veritable NBA superstar, and Philadelphia could have handed the Cavs their most lopsided loss in franchise history, had they desired it.
The Philadelphia 76ers, 141. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 94.
Coming off a week where it was reported some Cavaliers aren’t particularly happy with the coach, John Beilein, this was pretty much exactly what you don’t want to see. There’s never a good time for a loss like this, but when you don’t show up to play after your coach is questioned in the press it’s a problem. The team was better yesterday, but the Cavs have talked a big game of slow but steady development. That’s not happening.
More pressing is what you do with Kevin Love. You owe him a ton of money over a long period of time, and he had six shots in the first quarter and then just one the rest of the way. The offense isn’t running through him, he’s clearly frustrated on the court, and while he’d never say it, it’s not a scenario a veteran in his situation wants to be in. But there’s also a real question of what the oft-injured power forward is worth on the trade market. While we’re here, the other two guys the Cavs have given extensions to - Cedi Osman and Larry Nance Jr. - have been pretty bad themselves.
The challenge with any tanking team is distinguishing the bad players from the serviceable players being brought down by all the bad players. I’m having trouble with that myself, and wonder if the Cavs are in the same boat.