The Cavs skid continues as Cleveland loses to the Suns in a close game, dropping one on the road to the tune of 119-113, losing their fourth straight.
The Cavs lost their fourth straight on Monday night to the Phoenix Suns, 119-113, in a game that saw Suns’ guard Devin Booker go off for 36 points. Collin Sexton went 10-15 to put up 24 points of his own, but defensively, Sexton couldn’t stop anyone he was matched on. The Suns were able to control most of the game by letting their guards get open and attacking inside the arc for the first few quarters, before starting to open it up and shoot more shots from beyond the arc in the middle of the third.
Sexton and Isaac Okoro couldn’t slow anyone down, forcing the big men combo of Andre Drummond and Jarrett Allen to try and guard their guys down low and attempt to provide help defensively. Mikal Bridges especially took advantage of this, making the Cavs defense look very bad for not being able to contest his shots from the mid-range.
The Cavs continue to let their desire to not pass the ball cost them opportunities, and the loss of Larry Nance for possibly six weeks will hurt this team on both ends of the court. One of the more damning stats from tonight’s game was how easy it was for the Suns to set their offense and execute, scoring only nine points in transition, and putting up 60 from inside the paint.
Here are some game notes
Starting backcourt can’t play defense
Chris Paul didn’t even play tonight for the Suns and guys like E’twaun Moore wrecked the Cavs defense. While it makes sense to ride with young players, especially in a season that is quickly becoming lost but at a certain point, you have to admit what you’re doing isn’t working. This Cavs backcourt isn’t working.
Javale McGee played well; when he didn’t get ejected
Javale McGee was playing really well with Allen and Drummond both starting tonight. The loss of Nance opened up the opportunity for McGee to step in. In just eight minutes of action, he went 3-of-4 from the floor, with a three-pointer, to the tune of eight points. Not bad. Then he got into a dust-up with Frank Kaminsky and got ejected. McGee was a large part of what the team did well during the early point of the season, and ever since the acquisition of Taurean Prince and Allen, hasn’t seen much of the court.
Team playing worse post-trade
Ironically, the team is just 4-8 since the trade that brought them Allen, and Prince. At one point before the trade, the Cavs were the second-rated defense in the league. Now they’re 14th and falling. This isn’t an issue with Allen, more so the fact that Garland was out of the lineup for most of the team’s early success, not to mention the lack of minutes for McGee since the trade – who played well defensively. Then compound Garland’s horrendous defense, McGee’s lack of minutes with Nance’s injury and you start to see the issues.