On Martin Luther King Jr Day the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavs lost to the Mavs 102-97 on their return home from a 5 game west coast road trip. Instead of building on their 3-2 record on the trip the Cavs seemed a bit jet lagged, even after a couple days off. The game title of this article fits the themes of the game: Of Refs, Free Throws, Comebacks and In Bounds Plays.
The referees were not very good in this game. Many of the calls went against the Cavaliers. The teams were unable to get into rhythm throughout the game because of the referees. For the Cavs many of the charging calls against the team looked like blocking fouls. Many of the blocking fouls looked like chargers. Anderson Varejao was called for a foul after jumping straight up and blocking a shot. His arms never went down. Even with the refs seemingly against them the Cavs still had a chance.
The Cavs missed 7 free throws in the game, none bigger then Jarrett Jack’s miss late in the fourth. While watching the game it seemed like they missed even more, due to the gravity of the misses. Instead of taking advantage of the number of fouls in the game the Cavs limited their ability to make a comeback due to these misses.
The Cavs entered the 3rd quarter down 22. Led by Kyrie Irving the team would widdle that lead down to 2 points but were unable to get any closer. The team spent a lot of energy, specifically Irving on isolation plays, getting back into the game. This could of impacted the team down the stretch when they seemed to fall apart, both in free throws as well as execution of important plays.
In Bounds Play
The Earl Clark play, where he stepped out of bounds while catching a late game inbounds pass, sticks out as a horrific in bound play. Against the Mavs the Cavs were down 3 with just under 2.8 seconds left and needed a good in bound play. People ran around and Jack found none of them, leading to a 5 second violation without a 3 point attempt, or any shot attempt. Similar to the Clark play, this was a horrific play leading to a loss.
All and all the Cavs looked horrible for a half, came back well in the second half and then failed to finish off the job against a Top 8 team in the tough West. Which part will you remember? The good, the bad or the ugly? Talk to us in the comment section.