Maybe having Kevin Love would help. But maybe if Jimmy Butler had played for the Heat, Saturday night’s Cavs-Heat would gone better for Miami. Either way, the Cavs lost 124-105 and in a game that was not particularly competitive.
Bam Adebayo dominated the Cavs
Some of the issues Cleveland had with Adebayo felt tactical. For starters, Andre Drummond often sagged a few feet off of Adebayo into the paint even when Adebayo was just past the free throw line. Coming up too high may have put him at risk of being blown by, but it would have at least denied Adebayo some easy passing lanes and open jumpers.
Regardless, Adebayo may have been the best player on floor Saturday. He had a huge quickness advantage against Drummond and it engineering most everything that worked for Miami. As the Cavs look at building a defense around Drummond this season and perhaps into next, this game serves as a guide to Drummond’s limitations. Adebayo is certainly unique, and the Heat went small to pull Larry Nance Jr. away from the paint, but he also shows how Drummond can be attack.
On a bad night, there were at least positives in Sexland
Collin Sexton didn’t have a good shooting night overall — he finished just 5-14 — but was 3-7 from three and tied a season high with 7 assists. Of late, he’s look a little better as a passer and it showed against a good Heat defense.
As for Darius Garland, he was 6-11 from the field, shot 2-5 from three and had five assists vs. just two turnovers. Again, not a great night overall, but he had good moments in the loss. Sometimes that’s all a team like the Cavs can get.
Welcome back, Ante Zizic
It’s been a long time away for Zizic, who has been dealing vertigo-like symptoms dating back to Cleveland’s game in Denver a few weeks back when he was struck in the head. Particularly after the Drummond trade, he’s not in the Cavs’ plans this year or going forward. But it was good to see him on the floor again, even if it was crunch time.
Cleveland is back in action on Monday for another game against Miami. Tipoff at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is schedule for 7 p.m.