Last night the Cavs lost their eight-game in a row but the confrontation between Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen was the leading story to some.
The Cavs found themselves getting slapped around yet again on Monday, this time by the Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Cavs 129-98. Steph Curry went off for another 30+ point game and the Cavs collapsed yet again. Despite this rebuild going off the rails so early into the third year, and no apparent marketed improvement from years past, the biggest story out of the game wasn’t the failings of the front office amid trade rumors, but about a spat between young team stars Jarrett Allen and Collin Sexton.
In the tweet below, courtesy of Anthony Puccio, you can see Allen getting leveled by the Warriors and losing his position, only to then get yelled at by Sexton. The two seemed to exchange some tense words with one another, though over what hasn’t really been revealed. As the play came at the end of the half, the two walked off the court, continuing to discuss what had just happened in an animated fashion.
This will now be a moment that will cause critics to over-analyze every little interaction between Sexton and Allen, which is unnecessary. This moment wasn’t a big deal in the slightest as far as team chemistry goes.
Mostly because the Cavs don’t have any. The team has been in a constant state of flux all year, and with everyone pretty much assuming that one another might be traded, there’s probably a really good chance that guys aren’t settling in to get to know each other until after the trade deadline. Keep in mind the rash of injuries that has kept the team from playing together often; be it in games or in practice.
It remains to be seen if Allen and Sexton can get along and win together because they’ve been teammates for about three weeks. We won’t know what they can be and won’t for a while. What we know, however, is that Sexton has got to get better at defense. Same with Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro, three players Allen mentioned in his post-game presser that need to improve, not by name of course.
"We have lapses on defense. Sometimes, one time we play perfect defense, the next possession, we will mess up a small thing that will lead to another team’s bucket. …I have to be better, our guards have to be better. ….Every other team just keeps on backdoor and cutting us. Just mental lapses on the defensive end. Sometimes we’ll forget the coverage. Sometimes we’ll do something that we didn’t agree on in the pre-practice before."
Allen doesn’t need to play better. It’s probably not even possible for him to be better defensively. There are not many who are grading out better than Allen defensively. While he may have included himself in the criticism, he was being very clear where the blame lies; with the starting three guards.
He didn’t mention anyone else by name or position, so the comment about the guards was intentional.
While Allen is right about the issues of the team, this specific moment isn’t what’s going to prevent the Cavs from ultimately rebuilding and finding success. Allen and Sexton may become best friends or bitter enemies. If either of those things happens, it won’t be due to this moment.
It’ll be because of a series of issues and clashing personalities that persist all year long.