The Cleveland Cavaliers’ perimeter defense failed them again, this time against the Indiana Pacers
Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland have got to step up on defense because this is getting messy. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost yet another game they shouldn’t have, this time to the Indiana Pacers, all because they let guys shoot an ungodly high percentage from three-point. This is solely a guarding issue, as the Cavs’ best two defensive players; Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are the exact reason why teams are taking so many shots from three.
Why deal with the Twin Towers of Terror, when you can stiff-arm Kirby and Super Mario? Over the last four games, The Cavs are allowing opposing teams to shoot a pathetically high 54% from three.
They’re 1-3 in those four games. I’m not going to make some big bold claim that the Cavs would be better with Craig Ehlo playing defense at 61 years old than they are with Mitchell and Garland. I’m not. I’m also not going to challenge that idea either.
For me, this four-game stretch has taken Mitchell out of the MVP discussion for the time being. His flaws on defense are so overwhelmingly obvious, I don’t know how you fix them. We knew Garland was already bad on defense, at least last year you could put Lauri Markkanen, Dean Wade, and Isaac Okoro around him to help hide those issues.
But now we have two of the same players, neither of whom plays defense. Or can spell it. Or clearly knows what it is. We’re at a point where we think we know what needs to be done, but will the Cavs have the guts to do it?
I don’t know if Mitchell and Garland are a viable long-term fit together if this is the level of defense they’re capable of a year or so down the line. If this is the best they can be together, this team is never winning a ring.
Trade help can’t come fast enough.
Oh, and Cedi Osman didn’t play due to a lingering injury. That’s it. Those are the two takeaways from the game. The Cavs lost to the Pacers 135-126.
Cleveland Cavaliers top 3 vs. the Indiana Pacers
1 Point – Caris LeVert
35 minutes, 19 points, 3 rebounds 2 assists, -8 BPM
2 Points –Jarrett Allen
38 minutes, 19 points, 14 rebounds, +1 BPM
3 Points –Isaac Okoro
21 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, +7 BPM
Cavs Top 3 Seasonal Standings
- Donovan Mitchell –49 Points
- Darius Garland – 37 Points
- Evan Mobley – 28 Points
- Jarrett Allen – 25 points
- Cedi Osman – 24 Points
- Kevin Love – 17 Points
- Caris LeVert – 13 Points
- Isaac Okoro – 9 Points
- Dean Wade – 3 Points
- Lamar Stevens – 2 Points