The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the New York Knicks in an ugly contest to the tune of 102-81 on Friday night, bringing a close the season series.
The Cavs lost on Friday to the New York Knicks to fall to 9-10 on the season. The Knicks trailed early but battled back to take a commanding lead, finishing the game off to a tune of 102-81. The Cavs never seemed to have a clue how to fend off this inefficient Knicks team, with the defense failing to step up throughout the game.
It should be pointed out that a lot of the damage came from R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, two players who went head to head with Darius Garland a good chunk of the game. The team defense feels off with Garland in the lineup, though he did have a good game offensively, hitting 9-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-6 from behind the arc for a total of 24 points.
This team survives and thrives on their defense though, something he has to knuckle down on. He also leads the team in turnovers with four, not helping things.
The problem plaguing the team is their inability to generate ball movement, with certain players holding onto the ball and not looking to share the wealth. It doesn’t help that Andre Drummond, Larry Nance, Cedi Osman, and Taurean Prince combined to go 5-for-30 tonight, or that Collin Sexton went 0-for-4 from three-point and finished with only 17 points.
Sometimes this happens, sure, but the Cavs aren’t just playing an ordinary season. They’re trying to prove to people that they’re for real. A game like this doesn’t help that.
Here are four notes from the game.
1. Nance, Drummond, Osman, and Prince can struggle each in a game or two, but when all four hit the skids at the same time, that’s not good.
2. The Cavs have got to do a better job getting rookie Dylan Windler more shots. He went 3-for-5 from the floor, 2-for-4 from behind the three-point line with eight points total.
3. Only Drummond and fellow rookie Isaac Okoro finished with a positive +/- on the night. The team defense failed in every way possible, but the two best pieces continue to show their value.
4. To further highlight how poor the ball movement was tonight, the Knicks Julius Randle had six assists, leading both teams.