In a game of runs, the Cavs just didn’t have enough time to mount one more comeback. After falling behind in a big way right off the bat, David Nwaba and the Cavs bench brought them back into the game. The Cavs continued to claw their way into the game, even taking a sizeable lead off 13 third quarter points from Kevin Love. Ultimately, though, the Nets put together a 14-0 run to build on a two-point lead with about six minutes to blow the game open.
The Nets are currently the East’s 7th seed. For the Cavs to come in and be competitive on the road is to be commended. They’re building to the point where they can start to be frustrated when they don’t finish games off and get wins. At the same time, no one is going to get upset about losses as we inch towards the lottery.
POSITIVE: David Nwaba is really helpful
When the Cavs signed David Nwaba in the offseason, there were two reasons to be hopeful. One, he was coming from an organization, the Chicago Bulls, that doesn’t know what it’s doing. They don’t have a recent record of decisions that make a lot of sense. The natural inclination is to wonder, if a player is so good, why his preceding team would allow them to move on for so little money. Well, you could explain it in part on the Bulls incompetence. The second reason was the near-universal rave reviews from Bulls fans and media about his play. They all loved him, and no one was happy he was leaving. We’ll call him the anti-Rodney Hood.
Nwaba has spent a lot of time this season fighting through injuries, but when he’s been out there he’s been unequivocally helpful. He’s a solid bench piece that looks more energetic and athletic than opponents on a nightly basis. It doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet, but it did tonight. He finished with 22 points on 13 shots. Not bad. The close result was due to his solid play.
NEGATIVE: Not a great night from Collin Sexton or Cedi Osman
You’ll take wins from a team that’s supposed to be tanking if it comes from good play from young building blocks. If the Cavs had pulled this one out, that would not have been the case for Sexton or Osman. It’s okay. They’ve been playing pretty well lately. But tonight they combined for 6-23 shooting and were part of the team’s poor start. When the starters put together an impressive start to the second half, it was pretty much an all Kevin Love affair.
Steps have been taken forward, and adversity can be a good thing. Hopefully these guys go back to inching forward the next time out.
NEGATIVE: Marquese Chriss struggled again
It’s clear why teams keep taking chances on Chriss. It makes tons of sense for the Cavs to give him opportunities to see if there is something there. He has some tools. He’s also still really, really raw. He struggles to defend consistently, and over the last two games his turnovers per 36 minutes played would likely break records, and not the good kind of records.
Hopefully the Cavs keep giving him minutes. Losses are good, and so is talent. There might not be a basketball player in there, but he seems willing to put the effort in. I don’t know. Feels wrong to pile on.