Dribbles: Stagnant Cavs take one in the mouth

Larry Nance Jr. and the Cavaliers took a hard fall against the Heat on Tuesday.

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers ever-so-uninspiring 98-79 road loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

1. Well, Larry Drew is no longer undefeated as acting Cavs coach. Nor is Kevin Love still unbeaten since returning to the lineup.

2. It might be best not to spend too much time on this one. Frankly, the Cavs were due for a bad game. They made certain they had one.

3. They didn’t move the ball, they didn’t get good shots, they didn’t do much besides just sort of show up. And even that part is up for debate.

4. In the end, the Cavs lollygagged their way to 15 assists. LeBron James often comes close to that by himself. But he is the leader, and on Tuesday, he more or less led the way in the uninspired department.

5. That’s not to rip LeBron, because he’s been amazing. Let’s just say this wasn’t his best effort.

6. It kind of seemed like the Cavs were more focused on their colorful shoes than the actual game.

7. Love was actually more focused on his face, and understandably so. He took an elbow to the mouth a little more than a minute into the game. The result was a loose tooth and a seat on the bench in the second half. He may have to enter the league’s concussion protocol.

8. Though no fault of his own, I’m guessing Cavs fans are sick of seeing Love in street clothes or watching from the sidelines.

9. Speaking of big guys, reader Gene Steratore wondered this on Twitter: “Please explain to me why Jeff Green is consistently playing center when three centers are healthy.”

10. Dear Gene, I can’t. That is undoubtedly a great question, though.

11. Honestly, I’m not sure I understand the thinking behind having both Larry Nance Jr. and Tristan Thompson on the bench behind Green. Nothing against Green, who has done a nice job most of the season — but he’s not a center. He’s certainly not a STARTING center.

12. And I haven’t even mentioned Ante Zizic.

13. It’s true that the league has gotten “smaller,” at least in style. But why not go big and make the opponent try to match up with YOU? Mostly, if I’m the coach, I make sure at least either Nance Jr. or Thompson are in the game. They have size and play with energy. (Well, at least Nance Jr. always does.)

14. Anyway, I’m not about to question Drew. Overall, he has done a very nice job. His team just didn’t show up until it was way too late. Besides, who starts at center is still likely the decision of Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. Or at least a joint decision between Lue and Drew.

15. More than anything, as I mentioned earlier, the Cavs had been playing so well lately … well, you’re going to have nights like these. And for the Cavs, nights like these always happen in Miami. It was their 14th straight loss there.

16. Some guys did play hard and do a nice job in spite of it all. Rodney Hood again showed determination in scoring 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting. This after scoring his Cavs-high 16 on Sunday at Brooklyn. Jordan Clarkson and Jose Calderon (11 apiece) also played to win.

17. LeBron (18 points, seven assists, six rebounds) put up some decent numbers, but again, I’m not so sure he was totally into it. Guess it just goes to show, LeBron can get stats without really even trying.

18. The Cavs were also a miserable 4-of-26 shooting on 3-pointers. “We kind of let their pressure take us out of what we wanted to do,” Drew said.

19. Keep in mind, the Heat always seem to play horribly against bad teams. But man, the Cavs (44-30) are Miami’s absolute championship.

20. That goes a long way in explaining why the Heat (40-35) entered the night in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

21. Old friend Dwyane Wade scored 12 points off the Heat bench and swatted a Green layup, and yes, two shots from LeBron. Wade is still undoubtedly a warrior, but the Cavs are better off with this roster.

22. On the bright side (I think), the Cavs can put this one behind them quickly. They have a quick turnaround with a game at Charlotte on Wednesday. But they’ll have to show up in more than theory alone. Clearly, they weren’t willing to do that Tuesday.

2 Comments on "Dribbles: Stagnant Cavs take one in the mouth"

  1. Dwyane wade was the cavaliers third best player when he was eliminated on the february purge. Wade could have been a mentor for clarkson and played with him in a dynamic second string back court. Truer words were never spoken about the odd startin lineup with korver missing. Please no more two point guards hill and calderone that is senseless. Also use green in the second string unit and start hood at shooting guard and either thompson or nance at center. Love gets beaten up when he plays center and he is too important to risk injury.

  2. Yep, Coach Drew really blew it with the line-ups last night. Nance should be the starting center, playing alongside Love. Jeff Green has been solid all year, but Cavs need inspiring play from the New Four guys: they should play the most minutes.

    Phase out the old dudes like TT and JR, Korver and Jose Cuervo.

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