The Cavs dropped their seventh game in a row on Sunday night, getting blown out again to a Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-less Clippers squad.
You can have any excuse you want in the world to explain away the Cavs tripping and falling flat on their rear-ends yet again this season, but the facts are the facts; this team is not playing well. The Cavs fell to 10-18 on Sunday, losing to the Clippers 128-111, making this another blowout loss for the Cleveland crew. The Cavs didn’t start Andre Drummond on Sunday, scratching him from the lineup due to him needing a “rest”. Though one could argue that the last time Drummond and Ivica Zubac squared off, Drummond got bullied. So maybe it wasn’t the worst idea to sit him.
The Cavs really should’ve had this game. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George weren’t even playing, and the team didn’t need to worry about Drummond’s shot selection. The Cavs even had a nice showing from Cedi Osman, who put up 20 points on really good splits.
The problem remains, as it has during the last 10 or so games, is that the Cavs aren’t playing team basketball. The Cavs did have 25 assists, slightly up from their 23.5 average; which places them at 25th in the league.
One of the most glaring issues is the lack of passing vision from guys like Collin Sexton, who for whatever reason opted to not pass the ball to a wide-open Dylan Windler, who was quite literally jumping up and down just four feet to Sexton’s left. That isn’t just on Sexton, as two other players on that very same possession ignored/didn’t see Windler while he was at the top of the arc, wide-open.
That one play is a microcosm of the Cavs’ offensive woes. They are a team that does not pass well, nor do they play perimeter defense well. Simple pick and rolls kill the team. They end up falling behind, and when they get 20 points down, the Cavs don’t change a thing. They keep shooting mid-range jumpers as the lead only grows because mid-range scoring only works if you’re getting stops on the defensive end.
The team was 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency. They are no 22nd.
This team is not stopping anyone. They’re not just failing to stop the big names either, they can’t stop anyone, and they’re getting blown out in the process. The lineup is clearly a problem that J.B. Bickerstaff refuses to fix.
Either it’s Bickerstaff not calling plays to stretch the court some and allow his guards to take more shots, or they’re simply incapable of doing anything different. Something needs to change because this team is not capable of playing good defense with the pieces it has.