Recap: Wizards 119, Cavs 106 (Or, The Newcomer Gets It Done)

The Wizards ended their three game losing streak behind the efforts of former Chicago Bull Bobby Portis. Portis came off the bench in the first and started the game going 6-6 from the floor for 16 points. After just one quarter, the Wizards led 41-27. Bobby led the Wizards in scoring for the evening with 30 on 12-18 shooting. He was 4-6 from deep. His heroics continued in the final frame, as he scored ten points and hit seven straight points to keep the Cavs at bay when they got within four early on. He made a mark and showed that he was well worth trading for in his first game for the Wizards.

This game started out evenly for the most part though. Kevin Love returned to action for the Cavs after missing fifty games and his presence made an immediate difference. He did work in the post drawing double teams, with Collin Sexton feeding him consistently. He even got fouled on his very first shot. He went 1-5 from the field for four points and missed all three of his deep ball attempts, but he attempted to take a charge from Bradley Beal and had one assist for a David Nwaba 3-ball.

He looked spry and the Cavalier offense looked more fluid having him on the floor. It’s amazing how much having a guy that demands a double team can do. Unfortunately though, Love played just over six minutes, due to conditioning and general health concerns. When he checked out in the first, the Cavs trailed by just two.

Collin Sexton led the Cavs in scoring in the first with ten points and finished the night with a team high 27 on 10-18 shooting to go with four 3s, three boards, and four assists.  He showed some poise turning the ball over just two times even though the Wizards trapped him at different spots throughout the night.

Despite entering the second quarter down by 14, Cleveland stayed strong and played the Wizards evenly in a 25-25 effort.

The Cavs shot just 37.5% from the floor this game; and, at times, they couldn’t hit a basket no matter how close they were to the rack.  Jordan Clarkson didn’t let this deter him at all. He put up 24 points on 6-18 shooting for the game and went 10-11 from the line. He had eight points from the line in the second on his way to 12. He was relentless attacking and getting into the paint with a variety of herky jerky, “oh no, this isn’t pick up basketball” shots in the second. Look at this video game style smash the hop step button to get to the rack layup.

Sexton helped the Cavs end the second strong with a nice contact laden floater.

The Cavs started the third quarter in a scary manner. They let the Wizards make three straight 3-balls to go up 75-57. Bradley Beal hit two of the three 3s. Beal had ten points in the third and finished the game with 25 points (9-20) and 13 assists. Cleveland rallied though. Larry Nance responded with a deep ball to spark a 18-3 run to bring the Cavs within five after David Nwaba snagged an offensive board and kicked it out him.

Nance scored seven of his ten points in the quarter. He finished the evening with 19 boards, six assists, and three steals. He went just 3-15 from the floor. David Nwaba went 6-11 tonight for seventeen points. He also grabbed eight boards. He cut like a seasoned big man around the rim all night and was easily the most effective defender this game.

During the Cavs run to get back, the Wizards kept jacking 3s, turned the ball over and had terrible luck around the rim. The Cavs worked for good shots. Sexton had two assists including this beautiful pick and roll with Ante Zizic where he penetrated deep and kept his dribble alive despite three Wizards shadowing him. Nance assisted on three 3s. One was off a drive, another on a soft screen and pass back, and another was just a slick pass in transition.

The Wizards bounced back though and extended their lead to twelve before the Cavs came came back again and Sexton had a great “I’m crazy fast” layup off a long tip out to bring the game within three points with 32.3 left.

Ariza followed up with a 3-pointer though, so the Cavs entered the fourth down 92-86.

The Cavs got within four in the final frame, but Jabari Parker had a tremendous split the double team dunk to push the lead to six with 10:01 left. Portis then ensured the Cavs couldn’t get back in the game as he scored pretty much at will. Cleveland went just 6-21 in the final frame.

Gripes

1. It’s hard to win in the NBA when you shoot just 36.5% from the floor and let your opponent shoot 50%, even if you match the opponent with 12 3s. It’s also hard to win when you turn the ball over 14 times for sixteen points and allow the other team to get 20 fast break points compared to your ten. It’s also hard to win when a guy goes off against your squad for 16 in a quarter.

2. But, unfortunately, this is going to be the norm for this Cavs team. This group simply doesn’t have a ton of talent right now. They lack players that can finish shots or kill runs with stops. The Cavs were taking the right shots. They seem to have exorcised the mid-range demon; however, they went 22-47 at the rack.

3. Obviously, the Cavs should have run Bradley Beal and Bobby Portis off the line a little bit better. Those two carried the Wizards at times. Other Wizards scored more than you would have liked, but Larry Drew should have at least challenged guys like Jeff Green and Trevor Ariza to get twenty points a piece instead of 14 and 15 points respectively. Drew needs to make the players who aren’t hot win the game.

4. The announcers tonight seemed to enjoy Deng Adel’s five point, two block performance. He had some nice highlight stops, but he gambles and isn’t as solid as he should be defensively. He fixes his own defensive miscues rather than preventing them. It’s a coincidence that he led the Cavs in plus-minus at -1.

5. The announcers also liked the newly acquired Marquese Chriss. I’m ambivalent towards him so far. He was 5-10 for 13 points. He hit three 3s and had 8 boards. He can hit shots within the offense when he’s set up, which is nice. He’s not creating anything though. He turned the ball over three times. And, defensively, he’s a joke. This man opens his hips up as soon as his man makes a move.  He doesn’t follow his man off the ball either. He’s very thin for a big man in the NBA that isn’t super athletic.

6. Matthew Dellavedova had an off night. He went 0-7 from the floor and had five assists.

Hypes

1.  Kevin Love can still play basketball. He can still demand a double team. The Cavs should become more watchable as he plays more.

2. Sexton is learning how to finish through contact now. I showed the play above where he actually sought out contact and floated a shot over the defense. He’s taking 3s now instead of long 2s. He’s using his speed finally too. His “grab the ball and beat every guy down the floor after a miss” layup might just be his signature move. He’s lightning quick. He’s learning, which is all a Cavs fan can ask for.

3.Jordan Clarkson got to the line tonight. He went 10-11 and helped make the game watchable. He might just have the most ridiculous style of play in the league. It’s rare to see an NBA player Nash the ball multiple times before finally bringing the ball all the way out to gather speed before driving in for a bizarre off-hand layup. He’s getting paid to play pick up ball. We’re watching him play pick up ball. So, he’s a big winner.

4. Nance couldn’t get a bucket tonight. He had trouble just finishing at times, but he stayed active and grabbed a career high 19 boards. He had six really important assists. His four dishes for 3-balls in the third fueled the Cavs comeback to make the game not a total waste to watch.

5.  The Cavs brought the game back after being down by nearly 20.  That’s impressive.

6. Cleveland plays in Indy tomorrow night. They probably won’t get a win, but they could be entertaining and it will be nice to watch Sexton and Nance continue to develop.

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JRL
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JRL
9 days 5 hours ago

I’m baffled by some of the negativity towards Sexton. In my opinion, if he continues to grow as he has from the beginning of the season, I think he’ll be a really good player.

Scotch
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Scotch
8 days 19 hours ago
I get that…and he is hurt by the comparison to another point guard we drafted in the lottery recently. How many #8 picks have turned into all stars? It’s roughly 10%, according to NBA.com. However…judging a player by his decision making and adjustments over time, you’re probably currently right. He has made adjustments to his pick n roll game where he will keep a player on his back now about 30% of the time vs 0% earlier in the season. He has taken fewer long 2s as the season has gone on. He has learned that he is faster than most other NBA players and thus he should push the ball on the break more often than not. He still refuses to use the glass consistently…but again…that may be the Kyrie comparison rearing its head. Kyrie is one of the best ever at finishing off the glass (high, low, with english, with mustard, etc). Honestly…the negativity is probably related to the fact that we have been competitive in lots of games this year since Delly arrived, and as soon as you insert young bull for Delly the defense falls apart and the ball starts to stick. If he can improve… Read more »
Jason
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Jason
9 days 9 hours ago

In terms of wins? We are on 11 with 27 games left. The softest and most home friendly portion of the schedule awaits. I will break it down into roughly thirds.

1) Soft. Next 9. 7H/2A. 5 game homestand sandwiched around the ASB. NY twice, Suns, Grizz, and Orlando & Det. If we are gonna make some hay, now is the time: at Indy, NY, Brk, ASB, Phx, Mem, Port, at NY, Det, Orl.

2) Tougher. Next 7. 2H/5A. No Zion leaguers. At Brk, at Mia, Tor, at Phi, at Orl, at Dal, Det.

3) Nasty. Last 11. 5H/6A. 5 game roadie. Clips trading Harris helps. Mil, LAC, at Mil, Bos, at SA, at LAC, at Phx, at Sac, at GSW, SA, Charlotte.

John B
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John B
9 days 7 hours ago

Probably count on 3 wins in that 9 and maybe 0 the rest of the way. Maybe Charlotte.

Jason
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Jason
9 days 9 hours ago

The thing with young guys is consistency.

At first it is just a blur for most, especially PGs and bigs who are young/raw. Then the game slows a bit, and they start to figure out something they can do well. And if they are good, put up some decents #s doing it.

That is when opponents take notice, take it away, and say, what else you got? This usually takes 30 games or longer to play out.

Sexton went through this process (Rookie Wall/#1 move taken away) and is now learning how to be effective in other ways.

How many ways? How consistently? How effectively? And how much he works and improves are the questions. But some rooks fold once there #1 move gets shut off. We are past that, which is good.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
9 days 9 hours ago

i assume the cavs can win 7 or 8 more games (maybe 9, which gets them to 20-62).. with a healthy love and tt, a good to great lottery rook, and a warm body who can learn and burn some minutes from the rockets pick.. i think this team can win 35-40 games next year, perhaps even break a little above .500 (depending on whether we add a “super-boy”).. things are looking up for the franchise.. trust the process.. let’s just avoid a fultz

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
9 days 10 hours ago
uncle buck is all in on sexton.. he is an nba’er.. 27pts in consecutive games isn’t a fluke.. not sure what the ceiling is.. but he is beyond the point of bust.. cavs lucked out/or did good due diligence.. take your pick.. i watched the game last night (they all get saved.. most get erased without watching).. the core is watchable, and likeable.. and have enough pride and ability to become competitive if we can bring in a very high talent rook.. and love can return to form, and TT continues to play in beast-mode..whether we trade those two depends on what the offer is, but if they are willing and able to play near their best on a regular basis.. they are keepers.. clarkson is a tad maddening, but he is putting up the numbers.. i don’t think we get near parity back through a trade, and to think that we replace his production with the rockets pick is fantasy.. cedi and big ZZ are solid and growing nicely.. good work ethic.. sign em long-term.. delly is delly (not the most talented, we all knew that, but the endless fight is good enough for me).. i love that guy,… Read more »
buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
9 days 8 hours ago

far better than i could have imagined when they were on track for 3-40.. 7-72..

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
9 days 7 hours ago

and as the PD stated.. love him or hate him, cavsdan is spending the $$ to upgrade the product.. i state again, could be much worse..

JRL
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JRL
9 days 6 hours ago

Completely agree with you.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
9 days 12 hours ago

WOW THAT IS GREAT !!!!!!!!!!——–MY GRANDKIDS ARE ALL DANCING TO IT—-PAPA ALSO : ) ——-GRANDKIDS WANT TO PLAY IT ALL THE TIME NOW —-THANKS FOR THE NEW BABYSITING TOOL / DEVICE —OWE YOU ANOTHER BEER !!

Nate Smith
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9 days 13 hours ago

This is the greatest video ever made.

Jason
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Jason
9 days 14 hours ago

For me, leave it open for Adel to see what happens there. If Knight is healthy, you have 4-5 guards who can play (Sexton, Delly, Clarkson, Knight, Nwaba) and Adel can take SF minutes when alonfmg with Cedi & Nwaba and possibly small ball 4 min too.

Jason
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Jason
9 days 14 hours ago

Any thoughts on the open roster spot?

I mean, Chriss, Knight, and Adel are going to get their auditions. If Adel passes we could sign him and then 10 days to audition guys.

Or should we try to nab a buyout guy who can shoot.

Nate Smith
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9 days 13 hours ago

Knight is a Cav through next year. Chriss needs gleague burn. I’d rather have athletes with upside than shooters. They can learn to shoot next year when price is coach.

JudeElysium
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JudeElysium
9 days 14 hours ago

Does anyone know what’s up with Knight? Any idea why he didn’t play and when he will? I want to make my mind up about if he has a chance to be a positive for us, and besides that, we’re running out of scorers until the injury gang is back.

Speaking of…any word on Cedi? I can find almost nothing online about how bad his ankle is, what’s going on, or when he’ll be back.

Nate Smith
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9 days 13 hours ago

Cedi will be a week I bet. Knight is forked.

JudeElysium
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JudeElysium
9 days 14 hours ago

I still am on the fence with Adel. There are moments i love him, and moments that Im waiting for him to go back to the G League.

I at least want to like him, so hopefully he pushes me to his side of the fence with the rest of this season.

Nate Smith
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9 days 16 hours ago

Nice cap, David! It’s interesting. The Wiz said they were trying to make make the playoffs, despite trading Morris and I didn’t believe them. I do now. They kept ariza who is a winner, and they look like they have two potential stars in Portis and Parker.

Cavs are in this if Nance or Delly could hit anything, and if the team bothered guarding anyone.

Chriss is awful at anything other than shooting and being tall. and the way he carries himself projects that he thinks he’s a lot better than he avtually is. I don’t hold out much hope.

Sexton’s advances are encouraging. He had a. Couple WHOA moments last night
I haven’t gjven up hope.

John B
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John B
9 days 13 hours ago

On Portis, possibly, but he has had games like that before, very very infrequently. The vibe I am getting from the game thread comments and recap is that we didn’t do a good job guarding him, but I didn’t watch last night. Always thought he had potential. Parker could always score. Question is can he stay healthy and not be terrible on d.

Jason
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Jason
9 days 14 hours ago

Chriss will not be on the team, or in the league, next year. But worth a flier for now.

Next year will be interesting. If we do not land Zion, a wing is VERY likely if you look at the draft boards.

So starters: Sexton, 1st rounder, Cedi, Love, TT. Bench: Delly, LNJ, and Nwaba seem like locks.

If we need anything it is shooting. From anywhere. And if Knight shows anything, he may play some.

Point being, Clarkson’s act may wear thin come next year if he doesn’t become for team friendly in his play.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
9 days 16 hours ago

SEE THIS GAME —PRETTY MUCH HIT THE ‘RESET ‘ BUTTON FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON—–CAN LIVE WITH THAT —-AGAIN—COMPETE / GROW / SHOW ———DON’T THINK WIZ WILL GET 30 PT PERFORMANCE FROM PORTIS EVERY NIGHT EITHER / BUT THEYMIGHT HAVE WON THAT TRADE WITH THE BULLS / WE SHALL SEE ——POSSIBLY SEE CEDI / KNIGHT AGAINST PACERS ? —-GO CAVS

scotch
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scotch
9 days 21 hours ago
David Wood you took this recap to the wood shop! Picked the right highlights, except maybe for a reel of Nance’s rebounding prowess. He wasn’t getting a lot of those rebounds because they bounced his way or he was stealing them from teammates (ahem westbrook/lebron/etc). He was outmaneuvering and flat out jumping over the top of other guys to get them, especially on offense. I love the thoughts you gave on Sexton’s couple game streak of not avoiding contact and his newfound courage in the open court. He can get 6 points a game just from outrunning folks if he wants. Add 6 points a game to his ppg average and he is sitting pretty in the “I wasn’t a bust” category. Lastly…I wholeheartedly agree that this was probably and anomaly game for Chriss. He might have usefulness but I’d rather a guy with his skills find himself in the g-league first. As for Adel…I’m on the other side of that one. He impresses me with his timing on blocks and his willingness to shoot will pay off if he works on that jumper. I’d rather have him on the wing than a guy like George Hill taking up space… Read more »
Jason
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Jason
9 days 23 hours ago

Bulls win! Zion league standings, wins, full standings now that some west teams have joined the tank to try to keep their picks next year (Memphis, Dallas, Clippers) or to make sure they have a ticket to Zion (Pels). No one new in the East jumped on at the deadline (Pistons, Magic, Wiz).

10 = NY
11 = PHX, Cavs
13 = Bulls
—–
18 = ATL
——-
22 = Grizz (keep pick, prot 1-8)
23 = Orl, Wash
25 = NO, Min, Dal (pick to ATL, pr 1-5), Det
28 = Lakers
29 = Kings
—–playoff line——
25 = Heat
26 = Charlotte
29 = Brooklyn
30 = Clippers

MikeO
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MikeO
9 days 21 hours ago

Go Bulls!!

Jason
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Jason
9 days 23 hours ago

Good cap. Agree with virtually everything you said. Though Adel does gamble a bit & made some mistakes, he also played some pretty good D for stretches. Raw, but I can see why we signed him to a 2 way.

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