The Cleveland Cavaliers lost handily 123-105 against the Bucks on Friday, dropping the Cavs to 10-13 on the season, with a rough seven-game stretch ahead.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have got to figure out this mess of a team before the season gets away from them. They fell to the Bucks 123-105 in a game that saw the Cavs start off so well, with a cohesive defense that powered an explosive, fast-break offense. The team shared the ball well and played stellar defense. Now it looks like the cracks that started to form 10 games ago are turning into fissures.
The Cavs, as a team, only amassed 23 assists on Friday, which is actually lower than their season average of 23.3 per game, which is 24th in the league. The Cavs offense was only able to amass 105 points, which is a whopping 1.3 points higher than their yearly average of 103.7, which is 29th in the league
Yet, no major changes seem to be coming. The Cavs are in the top five of something this year, turnovers per game, and that was yet again another issue tonight. While the team played the Bucks well in the first half, just like the Clippers, Cleveland fell apart in the second half yet again.
Isaac Okoro is lost on the floor, rating as one of the worst rookies so far in 2021 on both sides of the court, and not making an impact anymore in any worthwhile way. The guard duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland is not just posting similar stats, but playing similar ball – driving to the hope for floaters and ignoring open teammates.
Over the last two games, Andre Drummond has failed to make an impact against equally sized players, and the offense has rarely utilized Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler, or Jarrett Allen to any real consistency.
Osman especially needs more consistency as a shooter, oftentimes going from 20 attempts a game to only seven. He’s a high-volume player who needs to have ample opportunities to find his rhythm. If he only gets a handful of shots per game, he’ll be widely ineffective.
Here are some game notes
Jarrett Allen should be starting
Andre Drummond is very good defensively, maybe even slightly better (slightly) than Jarrett Allen. The difference? Allen isn’t wasting offensive possessions. Drummond is turning over the ball a whopping 3.5 times per game and is only shooting 46.5% from the floor. For a center, that is horrid. Allen is shooting 66.7% from the floor and is only turning the ball over 1.6 times per game. Both Larry Nance and Allen have higher OFF/DEF figures than Drummond.
It’s time to sit Isaac Okoro
The non-Giannis Antetokounmpo Buck starters shot a combined 60.5% from the floor. What exactly is Okoro contributing? It’s not defense, and it sure isn’t offense. Okoro might turn into something worth having but it’s clearly just throwing him out into the fire is not helping this team win, or helping him improve.
Give Dylan Windler the spot
As far as rookie effectiveness, Windler isn’t just better offensively, but defensively as well. Maybe it’s only perceived better due to the competition that Windler is facing, but let’s find out. At this point, you have nothing to lose.
Either Darius Garland or Collin Sexton has to go
They play the same game. They’re the same style player, with the same limitations. They need to figure out a way to get another point guard, who can actually run the offense and distribute the ball. If we’re being frank, it won’t be Sexton and shouldn’t be. If you pair Sexton with a real point guard and some consistent three-point shooting, he could be what this team needs. Though his ability to carry a team on his own is in question.