Overview: A depleted Cavaliers team fell to the Indiana Pacers, who got a game-high 34 points from Danny Granger. Antawn Jamison led the Cavs in scoring with 19 points off the bench.
The less said about this one, the better. The Cavs were missing their two best players on Saturday, and that’s a lot to overcome.
The team was able to hang in there early thanks to Hickson and Jamison hitting some tough shots, but the ball wasn’t moving and the team was a step slow defensively, and it didn’t take long for that to catch up with them.
Ramon Sessions had a predictably bad performance, forcing floater/pull-up after floater/pull-up en route to a 6-17 night from the floor. The maddening thing is that Ramon will show these great flashes — his cut behind a Gibson/Hollins pick-and-roll and the beautiful outlet he threw to Jamison were two of the best plays of the night. But when the offense stalls, he will plunge to the basket, and that’s not a winning strategy.
Jamison made some jumpers early, then started forcing it and choked the offense a bit. Eventually, everything evened out and he had one of his typical lines: 19 points on 16 shots, 9 rebounds, a three, a block, and a steal.
Hickson’s gotten way better with those 18-foot turnarounds and pull-ups than I ever thought he’d become, but some early makes proved counter-productive — the jumpers are nice, but his jobs are to run the offense from the high post and move without the ball for finishes at the rim.
The defense on Danny Granger was some shameful p0op. The Cavs lost him in transition and let him get good looks at threes. When he went to the basket, they didn’t stop him. When he pulled up, they were nowhere in the vicinity. The Cavs’ complete inability to guard opposing wings is one of their biggest issues right now.
Good interior defense, though — even with Varejao out, Hibbert never really looked comfortable down low.
The Cavs definitely got bested in the running game — Indiana turned long rebounds into run-outs, spaced the break well, and did a great job catching the Cavs with those transition threes.
A bright spot was Leon Powe, who moved well without the ball and made some nice plays when he got it in the paint.
Alright, that’s all for now. Cavs have a chance to get back to .500 when they host Philadelphia on Tuesday.