Recap: Lakers 119, Cavs 108 (or, it’s getting meta)

This season has crippled fans to the point where they are left guessing just how bad it can possibly get before it gets better.  From the outside looking in, tonight’s game serves as another friendly reminder that it can always get worse.  The Cavs lost at home, by double-digits, to a 16-32 (now 17) team, that was on the second night of a back-to-back, that was delayed into town by weather, and that was missing Jodie Meeks, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry, and Shawne Williams.  Those players rank: 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 9th in minutes played on a team that is ALREADY AWFUL.  The Cavs, of course, were missing no players, yet almost everyone appears to have lost his basketball soul.  The Cavs were seven point favorites in this game and trailed by 29 points after fifteen minutes.

I’m going to get the quarter by quarter stuff out of the way as quickly as possible.

1st: The Cavs failed at scoring in the paint and the Lakers ball movement lead to incredibly wide open threes.  Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar seemed unstoppable.  I think Johnson tallied 15 points included three treys and a monster put-back dunk.  The Cavs packing of the paint allowed all these wide open threes, but they still couldn’t stop Chris Kaman from scoring at the basket.  At least Delly got some burn at the end of the first.

2nd: The Cavs looked small, slow, and discombobulated.  (Later in the game the Lakers broadcast staff used the word “discombobulated” too) The Lakers were playing loose and springy, dominating the boards: 14-6.   Midway through, they had 15 made baskets and 13 were assisted.  The Cavaliers defensive resistance was non-existent.  The Lakers guards would drive, the Cavs would collapse, and 3 Lakers find themselves alone on the arc.  In the event that the Lakers wanted to give the ball to Chris Kaman or Ryan Kelly (a future prime candidate for “who he play for?”), they had no problems with the Cavs front line.  Oh, turns out Ryan Kelly played with Kyrie Irving at Duke.  That figures he would outclass Crazy Drunken Truther Uncle Drew tonight.  Everyone on the Lakers was scoring at will.  (Guys that shouldn’t be scoring at will.)  The Lakers easily amassed 70 points at the half, their new season record for points in any half.  They finished 10-17 from three while the Cavs were 1-18.  (what in God’s name are the Cavs doing launching 18 threes against a front line of: Chris Kaman, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre).   The Lakers offensive execution was flawless: of their 25 baskets, 22 were assisted!  (that’s crazy) They shot 60/60/90 from the field.  Meanwhile the Cavs…

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 8.51.03 PM
I hate the jump shot

3rd: The Cavs came out of the locker room with a fire that can only be described as one of those flickering led candles that you see at hardware store bargain bins: seven points in six minutes.  Mike Brown did a rage-quit hockey substitution around 7:30 remaining and Kyrie Irving’s butt was glued to the pine for the rest of the night.  Bennett earned a Bronx cheer with an uncontested put-back lay-in and actually did it three more times in the quarter.  More amazingly, he hit a 20 footer and drained two free throws.  It wasn’t a great quarter by any means but it was actual scoring against an (awful) NBA team.  At least Bennett was hanging out around the rim and able to fight for offensive rebounds and put-backs. Normally, he spends too much time floating in spaces where he can’t add value.  The Cavs actually outscored the Lakers in the third, 31-28 and C.J. Miles and Anderson Varejao have firmly entered “hey at least that guy is playing hard” territory on twitter.

4th: The Cavs took the momentum they created at the end of the third and carried it over to start the fourth.  The Lakers stopped making shots and started playing on their heels.  At one point the Cavs put together a 22-4 run to cut the lead to 10, and there was still 9:38 remaining in the game.  Buckets-time right?  Nope, not tonight.  Mike Brown rode his unlikely tandem of Delly, Miles, Waiters, Varejao and Bennett(!).  Meanwhile the Lakers were running into some serious problems.  Remember that decimated squad I talked about earlier?  Well, Nick Young (3rd on the roster in minutes this season) left the game with a leg injury in the 2nd quarter, and Jordan Farmar (having a fantastic game up to that point) left the game in the 4th with a leg injury.  At the 8:29 mark, Chris Kaman fouled out of the game.  At this point, the Lakers had only 5 available players, one of which was Robert Sacre who had 4 fouls.  The TV crews along with various folks on twitter scrambled to figure out what would happen if Sacre fouled out or if anyone else was forced to leave the game.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.49.23 PM

If this seemed like a prime time to re-insert Kyrie and Deng, Mike Brown doesn’t think like you do.  He continued to ride his scrappy-squad although they were not able to defend the Lakers well enough to close the gap.  And then, with three and half minutes remaining, Robert Sacre fouled out.  Turns out, in that event, NBA teams don’t have to play Normal Dale ball – they get to keep their fouled-out player on the court, but each subsequent foul by that player costs a technical foul as well.  No, there was only room for one Norman Dale tonight, and that was Mike Brown, refusing to put Kyrie Irving back into the game even as the outcome sat within reach for almost the entire quarter.  The Lakers broadcast crew used a timeout to ask Fred and AC what was going on with Kyrie and were told “coach’s decision”.

Steve Blake ruined the Cavs comeback plans with two dagger 3s, the last one setting a Lakers franchise record for 3-pointers made in a single game.  Let’s think about that abstractly.  Zoom out for a second.  The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the two most storied franchises in the history of the sport, are going to have a single game record set by these players: Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake, Ryan Kelly, Kendall Marshall, and Wesley Johnson.  Those players.

The Good:

-C.J. Miles was +21 in 29 minutes and the Cavs lost by double-digits.  The Jarrett Jack experiment has failed.  Lost in the chaos was a wrathful throwdown by Calvin Jr.

-Anderson Varejao was +13 in 35 minutes.  Play the guys that help you win games.  You can find lists here, and here.

-Anthony Bennett scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.  He’s been so apocalyptically awful this season that when he does things like this, scores 14 points on 10 shots against almost a D-League squad, Cavs fans just beam with excitement.  The Cavs could lose by 200 to the Bucks but if Bennett makes a few shots it’s worth talking about in a positive light.  Bennett’s play tonight overall is a positive (and I’ll leave it in the good section) but it is heartbreaking to me that he is not an explosive player.  (Just jump higher!)  He had 2 or 3 uncontested put backs that were firmly in the “below the rim” category.  The Cleveland Cavaliers: undersized, unathletic, but somehow really young.

-The Cavs had 27 offensive rebounds.  Mostly a product of all the missing, but also a sign that they didn’t stop hustling.  Really, it was only the first quarter where the effort was lacking.  The rest of the game was just a reflection of their complete lack of any defensive resistance.

The Bad:  Too many things were bad about this game.  The Cavs continue to make below average players seem amazing.  Steve Blake had a triple-double, Ryan Kelly a career game….I’ll just kick it over to some quotes (some are paraphrasing) from the Lakers’ broadcast team.

-“They (The Lakers) have found something they like in the Cleveland Cavaliers”

-“This is as fun as it gets.”

-“Kyrie Irving’s shooting percentages have dropped each year he’s been in the league.”

-“Cavaliers just out of sync completely.  You can see how discombobulated they are.  Robert Sacre just finds himself all alone and Jarrett Jack has to try to contest him in the paint.”

-“For a team (the Lakers) that’s lost 19 of its last 22….”

-“Obviously it’s taken Mike Brown a long time to get this team to play together.”

-“That’s just terrible defense by the Cleveland Cavaliers, as Jordan just waltzs in, scores with the left hand.”  (replay is shown of Farmar easily getting past Jack, dribbling through two defenders, and laying in a left-handed layup with no resistance at the basket despite driving through 3 players)

-“I’m just saying they are missing so many players and they are ahead 93-66 in the 3rd?!?!?!”

Final Thoughts:  This was one of the stranger games I have seen a while.  MDA thought so as well.  I’m not sure how well that thought emanated from my recap, but it was weird.  The Cavs getting obliterated by whatever available players the Lakers had was weird.  That team setting the franchise record for 3s in regulation was weird.  The fouling out earning a technical is something I have never seen.  Kyrie looking steaming mad sitting on the bench for almost the entire second half was weird.

There is no easy solution to “fix” the Cavaliers.  They look like they could be the worst team in the NBA at the moment and there are teams that have engaged in vicious organizational tanking to create a fierce level of suck.  I know many fans want to see some heads roll but I don’t know what that would accomplish.  After all, just a few weeks ago everyone was singing kumbaya in perfect harmony over Luol Deng’s difference making abilities.  Remember that?  Luol, the all-star and massive upgrade over the Cavs sorry excuses for SF, was 1-10 tonight going up against…I dunno Wesley Johnson? (who scored at will against Deng)  Luol, the culture changer, added to a team that has since seen their culture accelerate into a downward spiral.  It may have been a house of cards all season, with the “buddy ball” confrontations and whatever happened with Andrew Bynum.  But since Deng got here, it feels like that house, swaying in the breeze, has been vaporized in a nuclear attack.  So, consider that my devastating argument against doing anything rash.  Even the fixes that seem so obvious, so simple, and so undeniably necessary might not solve anything.

That said, I don’t know how to continue to mount a defense of Mike Brown.  I am a Brown apologist and I feel like most criticism lobbed at him before this season was lacking perspective.  But the longer this goes on, it becomes part of his body of work and it becomes harder to defend him.  The only aspect of Mike Brown’s past that I was genuinely concerned about was his lack of developing young talent.  What I don’t understand about this Cavs team is how Jarrett Jack has become a shell of himself.  And now the Cavs defense under Deng has been abominable.  Something has infected this team.  I don’t believe the core players were ever as talented as we all believed, but I also don’t think anyone saw the Cavs being this bad.  Vegas certainly didn’t.

Share
Dan
Guest
Dan
4 years 11 months ago
grover – No they didn’t… Did you watch the team last year? We are on pace to have about the same season. Sure, there were a few more injuries last season, but that is not the point. Grant brought in Andrew Bynum, who promptly did not help any chances of Dion or anyone else in the Cavs becoming a TEAM. And, then we have Bennett. The best pick Grant ever made was Kyrie, which was a basic no-brainer, who we only got because of a lucky ping pong ball. When he traded Moon and Williams for that pick, it would have still been a decent trade if they got the #7 pick, but the only really good pick he ever made was the only one where he had no other choice. It also took Brown a few SEASONS to have a legitimate defense, and get it through to the team from the LeBron years. Brown has had 6 months to work with a roster more dysfunctional than Chudzinski, who (despite no QB or RB) still managed SIX All-Pros. I am not saying that Mike Brown is another Popovich or anything, but the entire roster has turned since Brown was here… Read more »
grover13
Guest
grover13
4 years 11 months ago

Yes, Dan….but this same cast of characters- less an All-Star SF- performed much better under Mike Brown’s predcessor.

To me the nail in Mike Brown’s coffin is the fact that the Cavs are in the bottom third in most meaningful defensive categories- which is supposed to be Brown’s strength- despite the fact that in Deng and Varejao he has two of the best all-round defenders at those positions in the league.

His defensive prowess was supposed to cover for his offensive deficiencies. But this defense is bad, and getting worse.

Dan
Guest
Dan
4 years 11 months ago

Mike Brown did not pick this cast of incompatible characters. Chris Grant did. Just as I posted a few hours ago. Ironic…

Jhill
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

I agree, Scotts teams quit on him when the season was obviously lost, not when we are 3 games out of the playoffs.

Bryan B
Guest
Bryan B
4 years 11 months ago

I still don’t see how Brown can stay. I mean last years team didn’t quit on Scott until mid way through March. This team quit on Brown mid way through January. You can blame Grant for the draft of Bennett, and the poor additions of Jack, Clark and Sims. But I mean who did those guys really replace? Caspi, Walton, Livingston (who I like but he’s no Kobe). I mean come on, Brown is hopeless, and Grant was the one driving for Brown’s hire. Gilbert needs to bite the bullet and eat the rest of Brown’s contract.

Jhill
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

They should just copy and paste TV63’s response in the article they write about this.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 years 11 months ago

Sigh I hated to see this go down but yeah Grant deserves it. . I thought he did well for the most part on draft picks and trades. His most epic fail was hiring Mike Brown without using that same tedious stat checking guru he is, no methodology on comparing other coaches who might do better coaching young players, invested player development like that of Scotty Brooks , a real cohesive balanced offense/defense coaching plan, and player accountibilty not coddling the veterans. This above all the rest was just negligent and this team is suffering for it. CUrious what happens now in the meantime? Does Bennett still play? He is showing progress.

zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

Agreed Cory. I’ve put most of the blame on the roster construction, and it seems that Gilbert is seeing it that way too.

I may sound like I’m beating a dead horse but this team was constructed as a fantasy team. It sounds great that TT can get double doubles easily, but does he fit next to Kyrie? It sounds great that Dion Waiters is a good slashing shooting guard and has a high ceiling, but does he fit next to Kyrie? What was the point of drafting Anthony Bennett when we already had TT? How much forethought was put into signing Jarrett Jack and where he’d fit on this roster (he’s a gunner, not a facilitator)?

To me, Grant was too busy trying to “win the trade, or win the draft pick, or win the signing” by getting the best possible assets independent of their fit. But that’s not how you build an actual team…

Cory Hughey
Editor
4 years 11 months ago

Griffin will probably take over. Grant won trades because of Gilbert’s willingness to spend. Not that I hate any if his draft choices but they obviously don’t play well together.

Glad there won’t be some bat shit crazy trade by Grant dealing the 204 pick or something to save his job.

zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

@Jhill

For now, with the trade deadline in 2 weeks; most likely Trent Redden (with the team since ’06 and promoted to Assistant GM over summer) will probably end up as GM with Gilbert closely watching his every move.

zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

@Jhill

The trading deadline is 2 weeks away. This tells me that Grant was probably preparing some kind of hail mary to try to save his job, but obviously, Gilbert didn’t want any part of that.

That’s the importance of this move. As far as what happens next, I think Gilbert wanted to put the kibosh on any crazy trades over the next 2 weeks, so who knows what the new GM situation will be.

Jhill
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Any news on who’s replacing him?

zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA 6m
The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired general manager Chris Grant, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

BREAKING NEWS.

Ross
Guest
Ross
4 years 11 months ago

zeek,

AI 76ers team is a pretty decent comp for what a successful team around KI would probably need to look like. That team improbably (at least in my opinion) earned a 1 seed with 56 regular season wins only to get destroyed by Shaq & Kobe in the Finals.

zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

@Jhill

That’s the problem. You’re comparing him to Kyrie who is not a facilitating point guard at all.

I’m talking about an actual facilitator like Manu Ginobli or Dwyane Wade (who Dion has been compared to in terms of scoring ability but the really unique talent of Wade’s is that he was a point guard until his 2nd year in the NBA when he moved over to SG).

The problem is there really aren’t that many good facilitating shooting guards in the league right now. Even just listing the above average ones is tough: Harden, Iguodala (has always been a hugely underrated facilitator because of his personal shooting woes), Demar Derozan (who has been doing a lot more facilitating in the post-Gay trade era of Toronto), Tyreke Evans, Lance Stephenson.

Those 5 are really the ones who I’m talking about…

The fact is, to build a roster around Kyrie, you sort of have to treat Kyrie as if he were AI and build that 76ers team again.

A tough defensive minded team, where you designate a player like Eric Snow to be your main facilitator because you don’t expect AI to do that.

Jonathan C
Guest
Jonathan C
4 years 11 months ago

My posts keep getting eaten up

Jonathan C
Guest
Jonathan C
4 years 11 months ago

This infectious, contagious disease of indifference has plagued the team for far too long… Mike Brown has lost these guys in less than a full season. How much longer do you delay the inevitable? Grant too?

It bugs me that Kyrie’s role in this situation gets swept under the rug by many in the national media or a casual fan (saw a #FreeKyrie hash tag on twitter that left me flabbergasted). Is it all his fault? No. Is he totally exempt from fault? No. It ‘d be different if you saw a consistent attempt to try every game. You don’t. He shouldn’t be cleared of fault if he’s the star of the team (all-star starter, of a 16-33 team).

Props to the guys who led the comeback charge (even Dion). Andy’s all heart, all the time. Delly too. Too bad they are the minority of this otherwise talented team.

Blame can be shared for this complex situation, but clearly, there’s gotta be some changes. Whenever you think this team can’t find another embarrassing, pathetic way to lose, your mind gets blown. Over and over again.

Jhill
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

@zeek Dion is a facilitating shooting guard, who has shown more ability in passing and finding cutters than Kyrie has. Players actually cut to the basket when Dion drives because they know he’ll actually pass it.

grover13
Guest
grover13
4 years 11 months ago
SUBSTITUTIONS In light of Mike Brown’s complete lack of understanding of who gives him the best chance to win, and how players complement one another, I offer the following blueprint as a base strategy on how to use the personnel at his disposal. STARTERS: Irving G, Miles G, Deng F, Thompson F, Varejao C 7 MINUTE MARK- Waiters for Miles 9:00- Bennett for TT 10:00- Zeller for Varejao Now you have a lineup of Kyrie, Dion, Deng, Bennett, Zeller. This is your optimal Pick n’ Pop lineup for a couple minutes, and probably your best chance to push the pace as the opponent starters are ending their opening shift. Notably weak in rebounding and interior D. We won’t keep this unit together for longer than 2 minutes. 2nd QUARTER: Delly for Kyrie; Miles for Deng. Now you have arguably your best perimeter team from a production perspective in Delly, Waiters and Miles. Bennett can also step out from long range (albeit far too often). Probably the most active lineup possible offensively (aside from Dion’s favorite 35-feet-from-the-basket-spot on the left wing). We’ll keep this backcourt together for 6 minutes. 7:00- TT for Bennett- bringing some D and rebounding back on the… Read more »
zeek
Guest
zeek
4 years 11 months ago

@Dan

I’ve been saying that for months around here, yet people always reply with “but TT (or Dion) is so talented, etc.” Grant has assembled a roster designed for a fantasy league, not a roster designed for an actual playing league.

These games aren’t played on paper. I’d rather have a jump shooting power forward/defensive specialist with a lower ceiling than TT. Give me a Paul Milsap type even though he may not have the eventual ceiling that TT can potentially have.

I’d rather have a facilitating shooting guard with a lower ceiling than Dion. Give me a Lance Stephenson type even though he may not have the ceiling that Dion has.

The fundamental problem with this roster is that the pieces don’t fit. This team is not built around Kyrie; it’s just a random collection of talent.

The Cavs will eventually face no choice but to sell low because all of this losing is devaluing the players on the roster as well as the fact that none of them is really playing on a system in which they fit.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 years 11 months ago

Rodney Mac,

You do a good job of trying to explain BB to the masses. That job is like trying to push a garbage truck up a hill, but hang in there. I am sure a few readers are getting smarter.

cwzagger
Guest
cwzagger
4 years 11 months ago
This game showed that the biggest problem is in the locker room. The effort from Kyrie, TT and, yes, Deng was nonexistent and I couldn’t be more glad that Mike Brown finally seemed to get fed up and simply benched guys who were not playing hard like professionals. Despite accomplishing some cool things since being in the league, Kyrie has never been a winner; Mike Brown benching him finally drives home a message that no one is going to be shown favoritism when it comes to playing a focused, committed basketball game. I think Kyrie has yet to impose himself as the team’s leader, and comes off as a bit of a brat and entitled as the former #1 pick, though maybe not consciously. That new lineup didn’t “luck” into almost coming back — they hustled and outperformed a depleted team they were more talented than. For all the flak Dion receives in the media, I’m beginning to side with him insofar as all the locker room drama goes. He plays hard and increasingly smart. I saw a .GIF from the last Knicks game where he is jumping up and down, wide open on the wing, and an ignorant Kyrie… Read more »
Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
4 years 11 months ago

I hope I have built a reputation in this community of optimism and rationality. For anyone out there still defending Mike Brown, consider this.

We lost to a team last night AT HOME by DOUBLE DIGITS that:
1) was 16 games under .500
2) had lost 7 straight.
3) HAD 6 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS MOST OF THE NIGHT
4) HAD 4 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS AT THE END OF THE GAME

This is INEXCUSABLE.

I am not saying we should be a playoff team. I am OK with incremental process. But what we have seen in the past 10 games is the bottom falling completely out in an unprecedented fashion. I am not one for hyperbole, but last night was the worst loss of any NBA team in a long time. That is a SYSTEMIC problem that has to put on the coach. The players may be lazy, but that is on the coach. He needs to get them to respond. They are not responding.

Jhill
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Click my name to find out what I think about Dan Gilbert and this team.

Greyrat
Guest
Greyrat
4 years 11 months ago
Yes very depressing. Appreciate you finding a few dim bright spots Tom – like Bennett. Even though AB seems to rely too much on his unreliable jumpshot. He had a play last night where he had the ball on the wing with Kaman on him and hoisted a flat 18ft jumper – to which AC commented “Take him to the HOLE!” which I would have to agree! Just on an athletic level alone – AB should be able to maul Chris Kaman on a drive to the hoop. As far as AB’s explosiveness – I recommend anyone who goes to a game to get there a bit early and watch AB in the layup drills. He is very explosive on his dunks – surprising so for a big man – but also surprisingly the explosiveness hardly ever shows up in real game situations. Also a reasonable assessment of MB. Something is wrong, but what? Players, coach, system, what? I’ve been curious about the MB situation and what went down in LA for MB and found these nuggets: http://nba.si.com/2012/11/08/jim-buss-mike-brown-lakers-vote-of-confidence/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/kobe-bryant-stare-mike-brown-lakers-jazz-video_n_2092988.html From the SI link: Buss openly questioning if MB’s system is just flawed?? That MB works to hard for the team… Read more »
Underdog
Guest
Underdog
4 years 11 months ago

I applauded the Dion pick. If he gets his head on straight he has the talent to be an all star in five years.

Unfortunately, as far as the Cavs are concerned he’s packed it in. He was an absolute no effort turnstyle on defense. I have no idea how they let him stay in down the stretch. The others – yes. Dion – no. He’s checked out. Didn’t anybody else notice that?

And I reiterate – he could be an all star five years from now if he gets his head on straight.

Underdog
Guest
Underdog
4 years 11 months ago

As the trade deadline approaches the “definition of insanity” comes to mind.

Ross
Guest
Ross
4 years 11 months ago

In what universe was Z an excellent defensive player? Haha, I love Z just as much as the next guy, but dude would have struggled guarding a stationary chair.

Underdog
Guest
Underdog
4 years 11 months ago

@ Charlie E “Mike Brown defenses have never been able to stop teams that kick out and make their threes. Even when we had excellent defensive players like LeBron and Z, etc.” Agreed. Didn’t Orlando “3” us to death in that Finals series?

Don’t like the guards sagging into the middle all the time. Who are they going to guard in the paint? They’re 6’3″. Be out on your man. Guard the perimeter. Don’t run out to contest 3’s -they’ll go right by you. Make it difficult and cut off passing lanes by being in their face on the perimeter. When you get beat consistently by your man – be embarrassed in front of everyone.

Brown has a reputation for being a good defensive coach. Maybe improvement came from increased intensity in the past . . . but you can’t sell me that this is a good scheme. Players look confused and lost . . . which leads to exasperation . . . which leads to no intensity.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
4 years 11 months ago
yes we are the laughing stock of the n.b.a. ( last night was the icing on the cake )—all ” experts ” are saying for the cavs to ” blow it up “—-key question is whom do you trade whom do you keep –what is the value of each player you attempt to trade—deng’s play has dropped dramatically/ can we still get a # 1 for him/ he is definetly not coming back—which young talent do we trade —someone mentioned in recent blog—you hate to trade young talent and them see them flourish in another system ( which always seems to happen)—yes something needs to be done or I think this franchise is in serious jeopardy of collapsing / even jim chones was LIVID after the game last night on the radio ( said this is a BUNCH OF B.S. )—DAN GILBERT NEEDS TO COME OUT OF HIS ” GROUND HOG CAGE”—-6 MORE DAYS/ MONTHS / YRS OF BAD BASKETBALL——-GO CAVS
Rob
Guest
Rob
4 years 11 months ago

So if Grant is a dead man walking, and the Cavs are going to be players at the trade deadline, how exactly is this going to work out? Shouldn’t Gilbert just fire Grant today and get someone who isn’t trying to save his job in place to make the moves?

TT is awful. Amen to Nate’s post

Also, Austin Carr has got to go. “The momentum has shifted, all the Cavs need to do is close the door!!” Uhh Austin, were still down 10 with 3 minutes to play…

Jonathan C
Guest
Jonathan C
4 years 11 months ago

This is ridiculous… every bit of it

J Hill
Guest
J Hill
4 years 11 months ago

CHARLIE WE HAVE PERSONNEL FROM THE SPURS TREE!!!!!!! Seriously, maybe there is a reason they aren’t there any more.

Summers
Guest
Summers
4 years 11 months ago

Phew that was a doozy of a game. Unbelievably bad first quarter and a half. Beyond comical. The Lakers played like they cared and like they enjoyed playing with each other. The only guys on the Cavs that did that were the guys that MB left in to finish the game. Thank you to Andy, Delly, Miles, Bennett, and (I guess) Waiters. But especially Andy, Delly, and Miles. These 3 guys may not have all the talent in the world, but they have the heart.

Charlie E
Guest
Charlie E
4 years 11 months ago
Mike Brown defenses have never been able to stop teams that kick out and make their threes. Even when we had excellent defensive players like LeBron and Z, etc. I don’t think Kyrie has a 4-quarter body. I think he tells himself, “if I go hard for 4 quarters, I will get hurt”, so he coasts and then turns it up when he’s feeling it. I am starting to think that he is of the Carmelo variety — a star player who can never win because he’s a little too inefficient and doesn’t make other players better. I think Chris Grant has been revealed as an analytical GM whose theories of what makes a good basketball player are just not quite right. In particular, foot speed is not something he has prioritized, and so we have a bunch of guys that can’t get into position or close out. I think at this point you need to stick with Brown through the end of the season. There is nothing to be gained from firing him now — who would replace him? I would love to see this team torn down and replaced with a western conference-style team. Get personnel (coaches, GM)… Read more »
Cavsfanwithbagonhead
Guest
Cavsfanwithbagonhead
4 years 11 months ago
I really wish the rules would have forced the Lakers to have to play with only 4 players on the court after Sacre fouled out. That way, the Lakers STILL would have won, we’d be MORE of a laughing stock, and maybe it would be a real a wake-up call to the players when they start getting texts from their NBA buddies like, “Dude, how did you get beat by 4 nameless scrubs?” I don’t know why this season hurts so much, after all, I am a Cleveland sports fan. But it does. Now that Bynum is gone, I actually do like all the players on this team but it’s just hard to watch. I think the problem must be incentive. The Cavs organization is not offering the players enough incentive to want to compete and win. I propose that we begin slowly, perhaps the same way I use incentive to get my 6 year old to eat his veggies. If a Cavs player plays hard and hustles, they can have a jellybean. If they play hard, hustle, AND pass the ball to a team mate for an assist, they can have two jellybeans. And so on and so forth…
Nate Smith
Admin
4 years 11 months ago

Anthony Bennett’s good games are a good players’ below average games. That being said, he was not awful. And yeah, it seemed like the team was playing well to spite Mike Brown, not because of him.

A lineup change I’d like to see: the next time TT has a bad game where he does nothing? Start Zeller the next game and give him starter’s minutes. I really don’t understand what Thompson has on Brown that he keeps playing him. He can’t guard stretch fours, is a bad finisher, and can’t shoot. The only thing he has on Zeller is rebounding. Let ZPA get some run. That is all.

Ken
Guest
Ken
4 years 11 months ago

Move the Cavs to Columbus. Maybe that change will help because every player seems to go down hill after arriving in Cleveland. This suggestion is in jest. Love the Cavs and Cleveland, just have no answer to why we are playing. Will continue to watch and hope for best. When Grant made moves before season thought they looked good with exception of Bennett as first pick. Think most players have more talent than they are showing and would show it on floor if traded. Glad I’m not Brown or Grant right now.

AbGolden
Guest
AbGolden
4 years 11 months ago
I’ve been following this blog for some time now. I normally just read the opinions and compare them to my own. But after last night’s loss I have to speak up. This is UNACCEPTABLE. FIRE MIKE BROWN NOW. Now I know some of you will say after last night that Mike Brown AND the players are a fault. And to some degree I would agree with that assessment. But if you remember earlier in the year when a reporter asked Kyrie if the team had tuned Mike Brown out and he said they were doing everything Mike Brown asked, and that is somewhat true. Part of Mike Brown’s defensive philosophy is the hard hedge on the pick n roll. When Tristan Thompson’s man sets a screen at the top of the key, Tristan ALWAYS hard hedges the screen. ALWAYS. Same goes for the rest of the Cavs players. Opposing players and coaches know this and they also know that Mike Brown will not adjust it. So when Tristan or Andy or Bennett’s man sets a screen they immediately either roll to the basket or pop out. If its a shooting big such as a Dirk, Channing Frye, or Ryan Kelly… Read more »
Jonathan C
Guest
Jonathan C
4 years 11 months ago
Fire everybody. This is just terrible. You should have more pride than allowing a Kobe-less, 5 healthy players Lakers team to put up 70 on you in the first half. It’s just ridiculous to watch. Mike Brown is only part of a bigger issue, but seriously, how much more of this will we be forced to see? Can we get somebody in here that can command respect? Brown has lost these guys, clearly. And in less than one season…say what you will about the Byron Scott days but he also was coaching the likes of Ryan Hollins and several other glorified bench players at best so the bad records were at least somewhat understandable. But THIS team of Deng, Jack, etc? No excuse… I’m seeing a bunch of #FreeKyrie tweets or questions of when will Irving be allowed to leave Cleveland, as if he’s not partly responsible for the 16-33 record. It’s ludicrous. I do not think there’s an easy answer, but there’s a big, infectious and contagious case of indifference that is widespread in this team. KI is far from exempt. If you accept the accolades of being an all-star (and a starting one for a 16-33 team at… Read more »
Dan
Guest
Dan
4 years 11 months ago
Why does no one seem to ever mention that despite the fact that we have talented players (when examining them in a vacuum), they just don’t play well together. They are incompatible. Part of that is the players, most of that is due to the people (ie person, Chris Grant) for assembling a talented, yet completely incompatible squad. It reminds me of the Philadelphia Eagles a few season ago when they signed all kinds of crazy talent and people were picking them for the Super Bowl before the season started. They were completely incompatible, they bring in a new coach, turn over a bit of roster, kick Michael Vick (the superstar) to the curb and play inspired football behind someone named Nick Foles. There is a matter of personal pride, however the roster is completely dysfunctional and must be turned over at the deadline. The dysfunctional roster is what is killing their pride. When they are all fighting behind closed doors and no one (ie Chris Grant) is making any major changes, why should they care? Let’s face it, Andrew Bynum into Luol Deng did not fix the underlying problem. Although it was a good move at the time, I… Read more »
Tony O
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Had enough, No comment.

DannyDaDopest
Guest
DannyDaDopest
4 years 11 months ago

I suck, here’s his actual highlights from tonight lol : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-5m0Nt5Hj4

dustinello
Guest
dustinello
4 years 11 months ago

I don’t see a point in ranking the quittingness. Did they quit on Byron? It certainly appeared so. Are they quitting on Mike Brown? It certainly appears so. That’s a pattern.

The point is, I don’t know if Mike Brown’s been terrible all year because I don’t know what Mike Brown’s expectations are. I don’t know what Mike Brown’s been teaching in practice and I don’t know how the players are performing in drills. If Mike Brown is the one that’s telling our players to be slow on weak side help and to allow your man to drive uncontested to the basket, then yes, I would say Mike Brown’s been pretty terrible.

I know the results have been about as awful as I can ever recall. But I don’t think we can draw any conclusions other than what’s obvious from our own eyes. The player’s are not trying. So, I’m suggesting the cavs work to get some players who will try. I know it’s much easier to replace a coach, but I also don’t think that solves the core problem.

DannyDaDopest
Guest
DannyDaDopest
4 years 11 months ago

I think the whole issue with Bennett was just confidence honestly, Because as he’s shown recently and in college, he has a ton of basketball skill. I get what you’re saying about him being incredibly bad to start but like I said I feel like it would’ve helped if Browns offensive system wasn’t so terrible and he actually was given the ability to play through his mistakes.

If anyone randomly wants to see Bennetts highlights from tonight here they are btw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZm78344ovQ

Rodney Mac
Guest
Rodney Mac
4 years 11 months ago
Danny I missed the Irving almost going back in thing and if that was the case then I agree bad move. The fact is this could be a very effective lineup on other nights than this and I really really wish he would use it more than just the times when everything goes to hell. But he did use it tonightand so I say he did good tonight. Its not actually a lineup he never uses either though. He has used the core 3 of Dion, Delly and Andy to dig out of holes earlier in the year. Now instead of playing jack with them he’s going with CJ which is a nice plus but I understand that early in the year he had to use Jack since he just got paid a 25 million dollars to come here. Brown has been in a very tough spot in regards to Bennet this season. Bennet was hurt and terrible to start the season. He tried to get him minutes but Bennet was quite literally unplayable most of the time. If he didn’t have a directive to win then it would have been much easier to play Bennet but he was so… Read more »
DannyDaDopest
Guest
DannyDaDopest
4 years 11 months ago

Dustinello, so you really think the Cavs quit on Byron like they have on Brown? It was no where near as bad last year as it has been this year. Mike Brown has been terrible this whole year, you’re in denial or something if you think he hasn’t.

dustinello
Guest
dustinello
4 years 11 months ago
The Cavs should fire Mike Brown. And when the team gets tired of playing for the next coach, the Cavs should fire him too. If the Cavs aren’t going to compete for championships, they should at least have a fun gimmick. They can start calling themselves the Cleveland coaching carousel. “Hey coaches, need a job that pays millions for a couple months work? Come on over to Cleveland, rent an apartment on a 6 month lease, and expect our team to be professional athletes who want to work and improve at their craft. Don’t worry, none of them do and before too long, they’ll tune you out and we can start all over with another coach.” I think fans from around the league will really warm up to that idea. As far as I’m concerned, Mike Brown is a god damned saint. I teach English for a living. Some days I spend entire classes on simple ideas like thesis statements. Then, two weeks later I get a couple papers with no thesis statement. When this happens, I throw my computer through the wall. But check out Mike Brown. He spends countless hours teaching basketball, watching game film, developing game strategies… Read more »
T
Guest
T
4 years 11 months ago

Tom:

[IMG.html[IMG/]

DannyDaDopest
Guest
DannyDaDopest
4 years 11 months ago

Also I totally agree with Kj that Bennett is explosive. The layups he had were probably due to him missing a lot of wide open dunks lately and him just trying to make sure he actually hit the shot.

DannyDaDopest
Guest
DannyDaDopest
4 years 11 months ago

Rodney, how in the world could you legitimately think Brown did a good job tonight? While I agree that it was a good decision to leave the players in that he did in the fourth quarter he sorta just lucked into that lineup almost coming back. It wasn’t like that was a lineup he usually puts out, all the guys who were out there are usually the guys he HATES giving PT to. Also he has not helped develop Bennett, if anything he has stunted it with inconsistent playing time throughout the year and forcing him to play in this terrible offensive system.

Also, if you noticed in the 4th quarter at one point Brown started to put Kyrie back in (As evidenced by Kyrie walking up to the scorers table) but Delly hit a shot and the other team called a timeout. It sorta destroys the point of benching a guy like that if you start to put him back out there again anyways imo.

Rodney Mac
Guest
Rodney Mac
4 years 11 months ago

I thought Brown did a great job tonight. He benched the guys who played with no effort. He didn’t let his super star walk all over him. He’s turned Anthony Bennet from a fringe D-leauger to a fringe NBAer. Maybe KI will get the wake up call that he’s not the King in Cleveland and he can’t just decide in the 4th quarter that “ok, I want to try now” after giving no effort for the first 3 quarters. Whats in defensable to me is it took 2 1/2 seasons for someone to bench Kyrie.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron
4 years 11 months ago

Steve Blake had a triple double. Steve f#ckin Blake.

Kj
Guest
Kj
4 years 11 months ago

Bennett absolutely is explosive. Just look at his rebounds. He also soft slammed a put back that was clearly above the rim. Insane what you guys write sometimes…3 games outta 4 he scored double digits but it always the suckiness of the other team or some other excuse of why Bennett did well…tiresome…

Cory Hughey
Editor
4 years 11 months ago
I don’t blame Brown for leaving the starters (sans Andy) on the bench for the fourth quarter at all. They deserved to be there. The lack of effort and execution was embarrassing. I do blame Brown for the current state of the Cavs. The only Grant draftee who has improved this year is Zeller and he rarely sees the court. I wanted to give Brown the benefit of the doubt when he was rehired. I thought he got a raw deal with the Lakers and would be able to improve the defense of the team. For as much as people killed the Browns for firing Chud after one season, I’d actually be okay with Grant and Brown being fired. Gilbert should be more pissed now, than he was after The Decision. Every opponents broadcast team marvels at how the Cavs can be this bad without any major injuries because there is talent on the roster, they just don’t fit together at all. The past couple years the Kings were looked at as a franchise that had pieces to other teams puzzles, the Cavs may be a deeper example of that. Andy and Dion for Brook Lopez works financially. The Nets… Read more »
Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
4 years 11 months ago

Something is deeply wrong here. As Tom notes, just a few weeks ago we went 3-2 on a West Coast trip. This is the exact same team, and they are now getting blown out of the gym every night by middling opponents. The only explanation is a coaching issue. Brown has lost the team. I don’t care what anyone says. There is no reason for this team to be as bad as they are.

Kojo
Guest
Kojo
4 years 11 months ago

Rob,

Kyrie doesn’t score 24 on 37 shots. No one cares about your exaggerations.

Attitude reflect leadership … The leader of this team is the coach. The attitude was not this bad last year. Mike Brown has lost the team. He’s lost Kyrie, Dion and even Deng.

T
Guest
T
4 years 11 months ago

Problem 1: Cleveland will never attract the players required for a FA-based rebuild.

Problem 2: Draft-based, “blow it up from scratch” rebuilds take way, WAY more than 1.5 seasons, considering Bron Brons decision left no time for anything but drafting KI and TT and shedding contracts in strike-shortened year one.

Problem 3: Dan Gilbert and irrational on-paper fan logic combined forces like The Wonder Twins to delude us into beleiving that we drafted All-Pros three straight years like the Thunder. You were fooled.

Kojo
Guest
Kojo
4 years 11 months ago

The core players are really good. Deng is really good, Kyrie is really good.

Mike Brown has lost this team. I hope Thru don’t try to hold on to him and admit their mistake and move on.

AtlantaRob
Guest
AtlantaRob
4 years 11 months ago

There is one one that can tell me that the coach caused and All Star to get embarrassed on is home court by 7 roll players.

At some point Pride should have kicked in. At some point you should look down at the your Jersey and say. “I’m in the NBA and I can’t get beat like the JV squad at the Boca Raton School for Blind and Gifted Girls.”

Attitude reflects leadership and Kyrie is the leader. This player no matter how young he is must be held accountable. He cashed every check that Dan Gilbert paid him, and until he leaves the great city of Cleveland he should Bleed Lake Erie Water. This is your team. You are the all star. Take the blame, like you took the credit. Show some Civic Pride. Call out the players that you think are not up to your standard of excellence. No one cares if you had 24 and shot 37 times, no one cares if you make it to the all star game and you are on the worst team.

Al Davis said it best …. “Just Win Baby!!!”

AtlantaRob
Guest
AtlantaRob
4 years 11 months ago

This is not a coaching Problem…

No one can say this is a Coach Brown issue, this is clearly a personal problem. If You let 5 guys beat you knowing that everytime some guy fouls you, you get a free shot, you just don’t care.

There is not professional pride. You don’t appreciate being in the NBA and you don’t respect your fan base. This is a clear sign that Uncle Drew has quite on Cleveland. There is no coach in the world that could have make this better.

If you don’t care that you have been embarrassed to the point of records setting standards ,you don’t deserve to be in the league and you don’t deserve to be a CLEVELAND CAVALIERS. This is not a coaching issue, this is a question of heart.

J Hill
Guest
J Hill
4 years 11 months ago

Kyrie Irving didn’t deserve to come back into the game. I’ve seen Pop do this with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan before, too bad Brown should have done this in a game earlier in the season. Also I told you that the Delly/Dion combo is fun to watch.

RB
Guest
RB
4 years 11 months ago

Is it over yet?

Vesus
Guest
Vesus
4 years 11 months ago

Fire Brown. Please. He’s clearly not the answer. Give the reins to Boylan or Bickerstaff and see if the team responds. Lebron already quit on this bozo, so has Kyrie.

Around this time last year, the Cavs beat OKC. Say what you want about Byron, they played for him. Right now they can’t even beat terrible teams at home.

Does anyone think this team would be much better with Barnes and JV instead of Dion and TT? Not with Mike Brown “developing” them.

wpDiscuz