In what’s changing into a recurrently scheduled program on Ball Don’t Lie, we’re right here with the most recent episode of “What’s wrong with the Cleveland Cavaliers?” (Spoiler alert: LeBron James will repair this?)
Previously on …
• Episode 1: Even LeBron’s workforce has to strive
• Episode 2: The Cavaliers are “getting boned early” and actually not even ending video games
• Episode Three: The Cavaliers held a workforce badembly earlier than their issues develop into a priority
• Episode Four: Dwyane Wade: ‘Ain’t no one afraid’ of the slow-starting, defenseless Cavs
Opening credit: Kevin Love rips his jersey out of frustration, shortly earlier than feeling faint, asking out of the sport, present process checks on the Cleveland Clinic and receiving IV fluids for an unidentified sickness.
Zoom in on Sunday’s first quarter, when a one-win Atlanta Hawks workforce that began Luke Babbitt is handing Cleveland’s starters a tough L. Love lazily sags beneath a display screen by rookie John Collins, and a roving LeBron James can’t shut out on Kent Bazemore in time for a wide-open Three-pointer that places the Hawks up 25-11 and forces coach Tyronn Lue into his second timeout seven minutes into the sport.
Enter Jeff Green, Dwyane Wade and, finally, Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman, all of whom badist reduce the deficit to 9 by quarter’s finish, however not earlier than Atlanta dropped a season-high 37 factors within the quarter.
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“We suck right now,” Cavaliers ahead Channing Frye advised reporters after the sport.
Asked in regards to the workforce’s first-quarter struggles, Frye quipped, “Usually I don’t get in until the second half, so y’all gotta talk to one of them. I mean, to be honest, OK, we’ve gotta play harder. We’ve gotta play harder and be more attentive to details, and we just have to have a better sense of urgency.”
Back to Sunday’s third quarter. The Hawks stretch a five-point lead within the early going to double digits three minutes into the second half, forcing one other Lue timeout and extra subs. Frye made his first look, and Wade quickly adopted off the bench. The Cavs allowed one other 37 factors within the third.
“I don’t know how many record 30-point quarters that is,” mentioned Frye, “but it’s a lot.”
Cleveland finally cuts the result in two within the ultimate minute, because of its bench outscoring Atlanta’s reserves by a 64-26 margin (Wade and Korver mix for 48 factors), however Frye misses a possible game-winner with three seconds to play in a 117-115 loss. The Cavs drop to Four-6, losers of 5 of their final six, together with video games in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. Their protection falls to a league-low stage (111.7 factors allowed per 100 possessions).
Cut to the locker room:
“It’s no secret we’re starting games off awful, terrible,” mentioned Wade, by way of Cleveland.com. “And they got it going early and the effort or the focus just wasn’t there to start off and you try to battle back, you waste a lot of energy trying to come back from 16-18 down and it’s tough nightly to do this.”
“It’s no secret in this locker room, but our first unit, we’ve got to start off better. I want one time for the first unit to get on the second unit because we blew a lead. I’m waiting for that day to happen. But we’ve definitely got to start off better, man.”
Wait, there’s extra from Wade, by way of ESPN.com:
“This goes back to we can’t get behind the eight ball too much. We’re getting behind 10-plus, and I told the guys, ‘Every time I’ve came in the game besides one game, it’s been a 10-plus hole that we’re trying to dig out of.’ We’re confident in our second unit, but we don’t want all that. Not every time.”
And some from Korver, by way of The Athletic, only for good measure:
“We definitely have had slow starts where we just haven’t brought the juice that we need. I think we’re all pretty tired of it.”
Cleveland’s starters now rank 29th in first-quarter internet score, having been outscored by 29.7 factors per 100 possessions in opening frames, squarely between the beginning items for the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks, who boast a mixed 2-18 report three weeks into the season. Something’s mistaken.
And … scene.
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This is the a part of each episode the place we remind you the Cavaliers nonetheless function LeBron James, who scored 57 freaking factors in a win over the Washington Wizards on Friday, after John Wall and Bradley Beal reiterated their perception that they’re Cleveland’s largest risk within the East and the Cavs willfully prevented them within the playoff seedings final season. LeBron’s workforce is Three-Zero in opposition to the Wizards, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks — the one groups they’ve performed that really matter within the convention.
That’s simply the kind of Easter egg we have to remind us that the Cavs is perhaps simply effective when correctly motivated, despite the fact that their protection is atrocious and there’s some simmering bitterness between the bench and the starters. We additionally should remind ourselves that James can’t be anticipated to go off for 57 factors frequently, simply to eke out wins by which they allowed 122 factors. So, right here we’re.
And right here Lue is reminding us, by way of Cleveland.com, that this roster isn’t the one which flipped the change from a depressing defensive stretch on the finish of final season to cruising by way of the East playoffs. “It’s not the same team we’ve had over the last three years,” the Cavs coach mentioned at Monday’s apply. “We have a lot of new faces, a lot of new pieces, a lot of guys out, so we can’t have that approach.”
Closing credit roll over Lue saying his workforce has been a humiliation by way of the primary 10 video games:
“I think guys are embarrbaded and should be embarrbaded of how we’re getting beat. Teams that we’re playing, having guys out, key guys out and still not being able to win. We all have to continue to keep searching and continue to keep fighting and continue to play hard.”
This episode of “What’s wrong with the Cavs?” featured not-so-special visitor appearances by starters Jae Crowder, J.R. Smith and Derrick Rose, who mixed for 21 factors on 23 photographs and a minus-27 score. Love was not harmed within the filming of this episode. He returned wholesome to apply on Monday.
Scenes from the following: Cleveland faces the Bucks once more on Tuesday in a high-stakes battle between MVP favorites LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo that would reveal the Cavaliers’ true id.
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