Recap: Cavs 79, Pistons 89

December 3rd, 2012 by Kevin Hetrick

After a run of exciting, albeit losing efforts; eight games in thirteen days in six cities missing two starters appears to have been the breaking point for our young Cavaliers.  Omri Casspi started in Dion Waiters place.

17 points and 18 rebounds...this is what Andy does when he's worn-out.

A seemingly dispiriting evening started early, with Cleveland falling behind four to fourteen, thanks to two of fifteen shooting.  Rodney Stuckey blocked a Tyler Zeller dunk…that summarizes the quarter well.  Pistons lead 30 to 17, behind 62% from the field.

The second quarter got worse, as Detroit pick-and-rolled, drive-and-dished, and fast-breaked the Cavs into nearly bloody oblivion. During the first eighteen minutes, Detroit missed only twelve shots, of which they rebounded six.  Apparently I angered Kyle Singler by insinuating he was merely a role player on a miserable team, as he finished the half with 13 points.  Cleveland trailed at the half by a score of 56 to 39, shooting 29%, paced by CJ Miles’ eight points, Andy’s eight rebounds, and five assists from Pargo.

The third quarter started off with more of the same, until at 66 – 47, Varejao poked Kyle Singler in the eye.  In an obviously related sequence, Tyler Zeller canned a few jumpers, Donald Sloan scored seven unanswered, and suddenly, the Pistons lead dropped to ten.  Cleveland entered the fourth within shouting distance.

Nothing ever really materialized though; with three minutes left, Boobie missed a wide-open shot that would have narrowed the deficit to four, then the Pistons waltzed to a 89 to 79 victory.

The first half was really bad; Detroit got everything they wanted on offense, Cleveland generated nothing at their end.  The second half featured the type of basketball that results in a 73 combined points.  Anyways, Cleveland shot 34% for the game and 15% from deep; it is hard to win that way.  Hopefully Dion is back on Wednesday and Kyrie a couple of weeks after that, and the offense looks a little more dynamic.

A few bullets:

  • I still think Cleveland can be decent-ish this year; i.e win 2 of every 5 games when healthy.  With Kyrie around, the starting five played very effectively.  At that time, the bench was an albatross.  Recently though, the back-ups have stepped-up.  Not ‘this guy should be starting somewhere’ stepped-up, but ‘I think the team can avoid 32 to 6 runs’ stepped-up.  in his last ten games, Casspi averages 7.4 points on 62% true shooting, with only 0.7 turnovers.  In the last 5 games he appeared in, CJ Miles logged 39 points on 55% true shooting, with only 4 turnovers in 76 minutes.  Since Friday, Zeller averaged 10 & 6, and finally showed his acclaimed jump-shooting ability.  Pargo represented himself very well in the quest for a back-up PG.  Add in Daniel Gibson, and this bench can be as adequate as hoped for.
  • Speaking of a bench that could be as adequate as hoped for; where is Jon Leuer?  It’s approaching a month since he got non-garbage run.  Don’t get me wrong; I have enjoyed all 1600 career minutes of Samardo Samuels and his 11 PER, but I hope Leuer gets more of a chance than 3 games.
  • Andre Drummond is an offensive rebounding machine.  He’s pretty tall and athletic, with long arms.  A skilled scorer he is not, but he’s young.
  • This will sound odd, because he finished with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 steals, but occassionally I thought Andy looked a step slow tonight.  Did he need to play 39 minutes, when the team trailed by twenty in the third, two nights after playing 47 minutes in the second game of a back-to-back?  Perhaps I am just overly intrigued by the Spurs and the career-management feat they are pulling off with Tim Duncan (a 28 PER and he’ll be 37 by the playoffs!), but the Cavs play two more 4 games in 5 day stretches this month.  The last game of both is a roadie.  I say sit Andy for both.  Two games rested now, could mean something when Cleveland is ready to contend again.
  • Tristan Thompson had a double-double.  It took thirteen shots, but I would be remiss not to mention it.