The Cleveland Cavs are having a rough go of it and it’s only going to get worse for them after falling to the Bucks on Saturday.
The Cavs are now 10-14 on the year, after losing to the Bucks 124-99 on Saturday night. The Cavs again failed to generate any defensive pressure on the Bucks in the second half, and the offense imploded on themselves yet again. The Cavs offense continues to be putrid, with no three-point shooting to speak of. The team took more shots than in games past, shooting 28 but only hitting six. The Cavs’ two best guards in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland went a combined 3-of-11 from three-point, proving once again the high-percentage runners the two are accustomed to aren’t enough to carry a team.
The return of Larry Nance was vital in their first-half performance, where they nearly went into half time with the lead, but the trio of Sexton, Garland, and Andre Drummond again shot themselves in the foot with 10 turnovers between the three of them.
Cedi Osman had another bad shooting night, calling into question if it’s his use in the offense or his ability to generate offense from the three-point line that’s the problem. All the while Isaac Okoro continues to be a minus on both sides of the court, going 0-5 from the floor and 0-3 from three.
The Cavs as a team only had 21 assists on the night, nine of which came from Garland, which was a nice sight, but as good as it is that he had nine assists, Garland had no answer for any of the Bucks guards and was roasted, again, defensively. You can argue that the “Bucks are a good team” but Garland is one of the worst players at his position defensively and him being in the minus for the night is common.
Here are some post-game notes.
Time to play Dylan Windler more
Put Dylan Windler in the starting rotation. The Cavs starting rotation is not good, and even though Collin Sexton can hit those floaters pretty effectively, he’s shown an inability to score outside of the pain consistently. Hopefully, having someone like Windler can help spread the court, keep guys from doubling/tripling on Sexton and allow Windler more opportunity to shine offensively. He’s an upgrade defensively over just about everyone you have in that starting five, besides Larry Nance. Might as well try him.
Larry Nance was out of rhythm
It’s his first game back, so you can’t get mad about Larry Nance’s lack of impact, yet it’s worth noting that Nance played very well when Garland was out of action. The team may actually play better without Garland it shouldn’t be an idea to dismiss out of hand.
Time to move Garland and Okoro to the bench
Growing pains are used to describe a team that doesn’t have talent, or that talent is brand spanking new. This team isn’t new, it has two former All-Stars and a potential new one Collin Sexton and was a team that was playing better without several key players earlier in the season. This defense isn’t the same one that we saw two or even three weeks ago. Things need to change. Guys like Garland already had issues heading into this year and those issues are again popping back up. Not to mention whatever early-season hype Okoro had is gone. Let’s see what a starting five looks like with Garland and Okoro coming in off the bench.