Cavs v. Nets Observations
Below are some observations from the Cavs loss to the Nets last night, 115–108. The Nets move on to play the Celtics and the Cavs have one more shot on Friday playing the winner of tonights other EC play-in game between Atlanta/Charlotte.
- I picked the Cavs to lose because this wasn’t a good matchup for them and it showed right away. That was a 1st quarter from hell and basically determined the game. Yes the Cavs fought valiantly back, but that first quarter did them in and they weren’t talented enough to come back. I was shocked how bad they started and even how sloppy they were. This was another coaching issue and why I believe JB Bickerstaff is still not the right coach for this team in the future.
- Garland played well, especially late, Love played awesome off bench, Mobely battled well. Other than that, Cavs got lot 26 points on 27 shots combined from Markk and Levert. Rondo was okay but he’s not an offensive threat. Okoro and Cedi combined for 2 points in 22 minutes. The Cavs needed more guys to step up and they didn’t. As I wrote on Twitter for the pregame, the Cavs needed Levert/Markk/Love/Rondo to all step up with Garland and Mobely..only Love stepped up. Not ideal.
- The defense was just so bad I screamed at the TV for them to play zone and trap which they did more of late in 4th to come back within six. Too many guys getting lost in screens, at one point in 3rd qtr the Cavs got beat on the same pick and roll three times in a row. This was a similar rotation to the last 15 games and it seemed like guys were lost on defense WAY too much. The rebounding had a lot to be desired considering the circumstances. The Cavs just played soft for too much of the game, and the young guys didn’t get the gravity of the moment. Those two things have to be fixed Friday.
- Speaking of gravity of moment and that ugly 1st qtr; I thought the Cavs looked spooked early on. They came out like it was a regular season game and then the Nets turned it up a few notches and Cavs seemed unprepared. That is coaching 101. They then spent the next three quarters trying to come back and using up so much energy they didn’t make the right decisions or even make a shot when it really mattered at the end. Again, coaching 101. Its one thing having a young team with little or no experience, but that’s what coaching is for. The Cavs needed to come out like gangbusters, and they didn’t. Lessons learned.
- There is not guarantee the Cavs win Friday. They should and I think they will. But they might lose to either Hawks/Hornets, even at home. The Cavs need to play with their hair on fire and truly want to go out a win this game and leave no doubt. If these guys (players and coaches) truly want to have the postseason series experience, this is it. No more excuses and JB has to coach much better. Quite frankly, Okoro needs to be on super short leash; same with Markk; guys need to be more confident in their shots and let it fly. Dive to the floor; rebound like crazy. If Cavs do those things and do them well, they’ll play Sunday against the Heat. GO CAVS!