The final score doesn’t exactly make it clear, but the Cavs were blown out at home by the Wizards on Thursday night. Despite Washington’s overtime loss in Miami just 24 hours before, the Wizards came to Cleveland and played with energy, scoring with ease for most of the night. Bradley Beal scored 36 points on 22 shots, and added eight assists for good measure. He is a star and the Cavs had no answers.
The Washington Wizards, 124. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 112.
Some nice words for Collin Sexton: he was the Cavs’ most productive player, scoring efficiently, and making some timely passes as well. 29 points on 15 shots is great, and while you’d like to see him take more threes, 15 shots in general is a pretty good number. He was dominating or commandeering the offense, and played in control for most of the game. Some of the crazy dunks he’s tried over the year that didn’t work out finally went down tonight. If he can get his true shooting rate to a number over 56 while continuing to pick his spots on setting up teammates, he can be a valuable player in the league.
Larry Nance Jr. was productive off the bench as well. He took just two threes, like Collin, but made them both and the second one in particular looked really smooth. I think he can be a good super-sub on a good team, though that’s not what the Cavs are right now. Obviously he’s Cavs family, and there’s no reason to trade him, but I’d almost wonder what his value around the league would be. His contract is reasonable and he can do multiple things on the court. Anyway, it was the first time he really made me think he’s someone would want to go out and get.
Darius Garland continues to struggle. There’s a school of thought that he’s sick or is worn out from the road trip. It could simply be the rookie wall, or a rookie wall. It was around this time a year ago when I said we wouldn’t seen any Sexton improvement until he got a full offseason, so perhaps I should do the same for Garland here, because Sexton radically improved his shot selection and performance after I wrote off his season. Either way, he seems like a small player struggling with size. He’s had bigs switch on him pretty regularly over the last week or so and he doesn’t seem to have the explosiveness to drive by them. Or maybe he does and is unsure. Or maybe he does but he’s tired.
This was a bad loss, but it’s a loss that helps in the tank. They’ll have a chance to salvage things somewhat on Saturday night when they host the Bulls. I’ll be attending that one, so let’s hope Garland turns it around.