Recap: Pacers 123, Cavs 115 (or, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To A Blowout…)

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

On what was supposed to be one of the few familiar Victory Tuesdays of the season (remember there are only nine of them), the Cleveland Cavaliers took a peculiar approach to attacking and defending the Indiana Pacers to begin the game… in that they didn’t… at all. There was some blame for everyone in the starting lineup. Some missed shots (14). Some turnovers (8). Some easy points surrendered in transition (14). And, some wide open buckets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Domanatas Sabonis (8). For nearly the entirety of this quarter, the Cavs somewhat resembled a high school team trying to run with the Pacers. A comedy of errors indeed.

Something appealing,
Something appalling,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Sure, there was something appealing about seeing Alec Burks drain a 28-footer from the corner off a sweet Larry Nance, Jr. dime to open the scoring. Or, watching Collin Sexton knock down his first two patented mid-rangers. But then, something appalling occurred about halfway through the quarter, when LNJ landed awkwardly after a Thaddeus Young foul. Nance Jr. stayed in to split a pair of free throws, but then walked gingerly off the floor, favoring his right knee. He wouldn’t return. Bitten by the injury bug yet again, the disheartened Cavs offered little resistance for the rest of the quarter. The Pacers got a little something for everyone, as they outscored the wine & gold 24-8 over the next six minutes. The 22 point lead after one was pure comedy… yet a tragedy for those of us watching.

Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns;
Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!

At this juncture, with the last bastion of optimism that only Victory Tuesdays had supplied waning fast, my thoughts turned to just how far this team had fallen since June. The Cavs have nothing to do with kings or crowns anymore. The front office intended to bring on Love for another four years, but he’ll likely miss most of this one. So, instead, they lied about competing this year… and now look like clowns (more on that later).

Old situations,
New complications,
Nothing portentous or polite;
Tragedy tomorrow,
Comedy tonight!

Back to the game. In the second quarter, the Cavs returned to the old situation of hoping Jordan Clarkson would shoot them back into the contest… which he mostly tried to do. Captain Band Aid had nine of his team high 26 points in the second, even leading off the quarter with one of his two treys in the game. There was a new complication on the other side of the ball, however, as JC and new back court mate, Cameron Payne, got lit up defensively by Cory Joseph and the Pacers bench. There was nothing portentous about a Cavalier comeback, as they fell down by 26 points mid-way through the period. There was also nothing polite about how aggressively Indiana was taking it to the Cavs (presumably out of vengeance for either last year’s playoff ouster… or the last Victory Tuesday when they lost to a version of this rag-tag team). It would have been very easy for the Cavs to pack it in and save their energy for the tragedy tomorrow in New Orleans against the Pelicans, especially after the comedy tonight.

Something convulsive,
Something repulsive,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

The Cavs were headed for yet another 20+ blowout loss it seemed, unless Larry Drew could do something convulsive to wake his team up. While Mike Longabardi was probably saying something repulsive (I’m assuming since I typically have the sound off in anticipation of this happening each game now), Coach Drew inserted Channing Frye into the contest. Channing, ever the pro’s pro, did something for everyone by opening up the floor, drawing a foul on Thad Young, dishing an assist on a Burks triple, and even draining a couple of 29-foot deep fryers… one a bailout as the shot clock expired. Channing was all business as he gave the Cavs much needed minutes in place of the injured Nance Jr. No joke.

Something aesthetic,
Something frenetic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

The three point shooting in the third by the Cavs was something aesthetic to behold. They were 4-7 for the quarter (13-29… 45% for the game), and they likely would have closed the margin by a lot more if Thad Young hadn’t gone YOLO from downtown as well. Despite being just a 29% shooter from deep, Young nailed all three of the threes he took in the span of three minutes. Still, the Cavs dropped a 36 point quarter on the Pacers, but it all started with their defense. It was something frenetic, with Tristan Thompson coming alive in the paint (he finished with 15 points, 13 boards, five assists and two blocks), along with Cedi Osman, Burks and Delly putting pressure on the perimeter. There was some praise for everyone, as the Cavs hustled and were more physical then they’d been in the first half. They even cut the lead down to a baker’s dozen by the end of three to prevent this from being a laugher.

Something erratic,
Something dramatic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

All of a sudden, it was Indiana doing something erratic to start the final frame, as they started missing shots, turning the ball over and committing dumb fouls. Meanwhile, the Cavs were mounting something dramatic as the comeback gained steam. Cameron Payne nailed back to back treys, and a pair of Ante Zizic free throws got the deficit down into the single digits. There was something for everyone as the crowd at the Q started getting into it. The good humor was returning!

Frenzy and frolic,
Strictly symbolic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Cedi Osman then took over with his unique brand of frenzy and frolic. The whirling Turkish dervish spun to the rim for layups and drained confident threes, the last of which brought the Cavs within five points with just under two minutes remaining. The Jedi was everywhere, grabbing loose boards, making smart decisions and even making a terrific save on a ball out of bounds. Even though it was a strictly symbolic comeback for the Cavs, there was something for everyone to contribute, as Sexton, Burks, Clarkson and Thompson all made shots and big plays down the stretch. A couple of comedic calls and non-calls by the officials helped the Pacers finally salt the game away, but the Cavs made them sweat with 72 points in the second half.

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everybody:
Comedy tonight!

There was something familiar about the final result, since it was the tenth straight loss for the Cavs. Yet, there was something peculiar in their resilience during the second half comeback. Maybe there was some let up by the Pacers, where they took their foot of the gas. Yet, there was something for everybody in wine & gold to find within themselves. And, as a result, a funny thing happened on the way to a blowout… the Cavs pulled together as a team and gave maximum effort.

Something that’s gaudy,
Something that’s bawdy,

After the awful start, the Cavs wound up with six players in double figures. They shot 54% from the field (after 32% in the first quarter), and 45% from downtown. Jordan Clarkson led the team with a gaudy 26 points, but each of the starters (outside of Nance who got hurt five minutes in) shot the ball extremely well tonight.

They did let the Pacers frontline eat them up, however, with a combined 64 points. Indiana also won the paint battle 52-40.

The officiating crew was particularly bawdy at the end, maybe because they didn’t think they’d have to call a close game after the comedy of the first quarter.

Something for everybawdy!

Both teams shared the ball well, but the Pacers (34) out-dimed the Cavs (24) overall. The Cavs also struggled mightily with turnovers (16 total), though half of them came in the ill-fated first 12 minutes.

Stunning surprises!
Cunning disguises!

The Nance, Jr. injury was a stunning surprise. The good news was he was able to walk off on his own, and will still travel with the team to New Orleans to get his knee examined further.

Another stunning surprise came from Cameron Payne (he of the 10-day contract), with some decent minutes and shooting range. He also featured a cunning disguise, as he donned the number 3, which seems to be the expendable jersey for this season (having previously been worn by George Hill and Patrick McCaw).

Pantaloons and tunics!
Courtesans and eunuchs!
Funerals and chases!
Baritones and basses!
Panderers!
Philanderers!
Cupidity!
Timidity!
Mistakes!
Fakes!
Rhymes!
Crimes!
Tumblers!
Grumblers!
Bumblers!
Fumblers!

I left this last bit in mainly as an homage to the Cavs’ front office, who tried to help Patrick McCaw win his freedom from Golden State (much like Psuedolus tried to in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum), and now according to a New York Times report, are being investigated by the League for possible cap circumventing issues in their handling of the whole situation. Much of this sounds like sour grapes and hot air coming from the Bay Area, as the Warriors took issue with the circumstances of how everything went down. The Cavs certainly had the right to go after McCaw, and also to release him prior to the contract being guaranteed. What’s in question is whether they had an understanding or arrangement with McCaw or his agent to assist him in getting out of his purgatory with the Dubs, while also sticking it to them a bit.

What’s concerning is not the grey area of this sequence of deals itself, but the ramifications of it potentially going the wrong way in some arbitrary investigation by the NBA. Not only could it result in heavy fines and penalties if anything is proven, but it could even potentially cost the Cavs a first round pick. Allegations such as these are largely hard to prove unless there is some sort of smoking gun communications… but, why take even that small amount of risk? Especially for a player as seemingly inconsequential as McCaw?

It’s just the latest in a litany of head scratching moves…

A Comedy! (if it wasn’t such a borderline tragedy)

Until tomorrow…

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NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
13 days 15 hours ago

And Mr. Patrick McCaw has joined the Raptors.

Rob
Guest
Rob
13 days 16 hours ago

Great read as always. Thanks to all of the writers for their commitment to this site. You guys do a great job balancing the stats aspect, the eye test and of course adding humor. Helping me get through this wretched season.

Has an interim coach ever been fired?

Nate Smith
Admin
13 days 15 hours ago

Stepien fired many. Honestly, I don’t hang much on Drew here.

Nate Smith
Admin
13 days 18 hours ago

rick in boise
Guest
rick in boise
13 days 18 hours ago

love that song – so much fun to sing (and ham)!!

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
13 days 18 hours ago

SO HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE “ALL IN ” FOR BRINGING GUMMY BEAR HOME—–YEY —-10 DAYS WHY NOT—THIS SEASON DESERVES THAT

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
13 days 17 hours ago

He and Michael Carter-Williams would be dynamic in the pick and roll…

Jason
Guest
Jason
13 days 18 hours ago

West PO chase with remaining SOS (rank):
1. Den: 27-12; .507 (10th)
2. GSW: 27-14; .514 (T 4th)
3. OKC: 25-14; .548 (1st)
4. LAC: 24-16; .491 (24th)
5. Hou: 23-16; .498 (T 18th)
6. SAS: 24-17; .490 (25th)
7. POR: 24-17; .487 (T 26th)
8. LAL: 22-19; .514 (T 4th)
—————
9. UTA: 20-21; .470 (29th)
10. Sac: 20-21; .498 (T 18th)
11. Min: 20-21; .515 (3rd)
12. NO: 19-22; .510 (9th)
13. MEM: 18-22; .504 (13th)
14. DAL: 18-22; .518 (2nd)

John B
Guest
John B
13 days 19 hours ago

Fantastic recap, hilarious movie. One of the few musicals I actually really like.

Nate Smith
Admin
13 days 22 hours ago

EG. I’m so proud to work with you. This is gold. It was actually a really fun second half. And thankfully Larry’s injury does not appear serious.

https://www.cleveland.com%2Fcavs%2F2019%2F01%2Flarry_nance_jr_to_be_re-evalua.html

Also, really saw some great growth from Cedi and Collin at times last night. Sexton’s brain is moving faster and he’s making decisions more quickly (after an awful first quarter). A couple times, he made very quick decisions. His high handiff to TT to cut the lead to five was the best play of his career.

https://on.nba.com/2FgMLIo

Cedi mixed great drives with superior floor running, timely shots and good firm on his j. Once TT woke up, was awesome as well.

ChrisKorvalier
Guest
ChrisKorvalier
13 days 23 hours ago

Thanks for the entertaining recap, EG. I turned this one off when we were down 20 in the first quarter, given how the last several games have gone. Glad it got better after that. But if the officiating down the stretch was as bad as everyone is saying it was, it was probably good that I missed it.

Jason
Guest
Jason
13 days 23 hours ago

Dubs are just whining. No worries on that front. No risk because we did not do anything wrong.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
13 days 23 hours ago

EVIL –VERY ENTERTAINING —-GOOD TO SEE -( EVEN IN A LOSS )– THE FIGHT TO COMPETE THE ENTIRE GAME / SOMETHING HOPEFULLY TO BUILD ON—–WILL TAKE THE WAY SEXTON PLAYED LAST NIGHT– EVERY GAME —-PAYNE JUST MIGHT HAVE THE “# ” 3 JERSEY RETIRED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON IF HE CAN CONSISTENTLY GIVE POSITIVE MIN’S LIKE LAST NIGHT ——-THOSE SO CALLED WRITERS “DISSING ‘ ON LOVE –BELIEVE ME IF COME TRADE DEADLINE —TEAMS ARE COMPETING FOR HIS SERVICES ( AND I DO BELIEVE ON THE RIGHT TEAM–HE COULD BE A HELLUVA ADDITION ) HIS VALUE WILL BE HIGH —–ZION ADDED TO HIS BEING THE # 1 PICK LAST NIGHT BY SHOWING SOME 3 PT SHOOTING /ABILTY ———-THE POOR MRS NOMAD LIVES WITH / MARRIED A DAILY “COMEDY AND TRAGEDY ” : ) / : (

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
13 days 12 hours ago

Yeah, and we still get bs articles like “NBA executive says Cavs cannot get an asset for Love”. It’s just sad and stupid.

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
14 days 46 minutes ago

Do you know the classical difference between Comedy and Tragedy? In a tragedy (which for some weird reason actually originally translates in Greek to “goat song”) we empathize with the protagonist and feel their pain. In conedy, we don’t care about the protagonist and “laugh” at their pain.

So, in short, Comedy is other people’s pain.

I really like the write up, as usual. I just felt motivated to share that tidbit, especially since this whole season for Cavs fans is a back and forth of trying to decide which pains to laugh at and which pains to cry at. It is truly shaping up to be a constant battle of Comedy vs. Tragedy.

I’m just glad I’m not the GOAT…

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
13 days 21 hours ago

You are right. It does translate to goat’s song. The reason is actually simple. The people that sang the song in ancient theaters were dressed as Satyrs, which in Greek mythology are goat-like demons. Hence the goat’s song or tragedy.

GreekCavsFan
Guest
GreekCavsFan
13 days 21 hours ago

That was me explaining Greek etymology.

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
13 days 12 hours ago

Ive heard that reason, .though I’ve also heard others, including something about some kind of contest of giving away a goat as a prize. Ill happily defer to you if you have actually researched it, thanks.

JRL
Guest
JRL
13 days 23 hours ago

Thank you for this comment. It was highly entertaining, as the recap.

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
13 days 12 hours ago

I’m glad to contribute! And the referense to the swan seong of the GOAT leaving cleveland was too good to pass up.

JMay
Editor
14 days 1 hour ago

Well, this stinks.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
14 days 2 hours ago

Also ran into an article this morning which argued for the Cavs to sign Anthony Bennett to a 10-day contract… which led me to come across this:

Nate Smith
Admin
13 days 20 hours ago

Hijnestly, I think they should. What’s the risk.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
14 days 2 hours ago

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2814507-their-futures-uncertain-kevin-love-cavs-may-be-stuck-with-each-other

I don’t know what Love ever did to the media to get so many haters. Maybe people just love to pile on Cleveland sports. Extinct in today’s NBA?! Sure, he may be below average defensively, but today’s NBA is about scoring more than ever. Very few bigs have his shooting and passing ability, let alone his fundamentally sound rebounding and willingness to sacrifice his own numbers. Since his game isn’t based on athletic ability anyways, hopefully he continues to produce into his 30s despite the injury history.

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
14 days 44 minutes ago

Most Sports writers are lazy. Cleveland is easy to crap on, so why do the work to write something interesting when they can just publish the journalistic equivalent of a morning dump.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
14 days 2 hours ago

The second half effort is the kind of thing I’m hoping to see more of in the second half of the season. The way the last 9 games had gone, I was expecting the players to mail it in even more than they had in the first half. At least some of the players have a modicum of pride.

I’m predicting win #9 comes on 1/13 against LAL, esp if LBJ is still out.

Jason
Guest
Jason
13 days 23 hours ago

That would be sweet.

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