Another wasted night, as Cavs' issues remain the same
NOV 29, 2013 9:40p ET
The latest wasted night took place Friday, when the Cavs were hammered on the road by another mostly rotten team. Final score: Boston 103, Cavs 86 and the beat(ing) goes on.
The Celtics are supposedly playing for a high draft pick this season. Instead, they looked like the machine of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson in surging to a 30-11 lead.
Thirty. To. Eleven.
Again, if this was a once-in-a-while thing for the Cavs … well, you’ll have nights such as these. But anymore, it’s a surprise when the Cavs (4-12) actually give themselves a chance.
And goodness knows, we’ve been over all this already. It’s either the offense is out of sync, the defense stinks or the energy lags. Three strikes and you’re blown out.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have a first-year coach in Brad Stevens, who came to the organization straight from little Butler University. It seemed like a high-risk hire, but hey, things sure looked alright Friday.
The Celtics (7-11) are already respectable offensively -- despite the fact the roster is mostly a bunch of no-names or has-beens following the summer trade of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.
Also, starting point guard Rajon Rondo has yet to return from last season’s knee injury. Yet the Celtics move the ball and actually have an idea who’s going to take the shot. The Cavs could certainly learn a little something. And from a team with a more questionable roster that’s supposed to be lousy.
Today, the Cavs are still trying to figure out how to feed the ball to center Andrew Bynum and run a simple fast-break.
It seems they usually struggle with Bynum because they’re in bad spots on the floor with worse passing angles.
As for the tempo, well, it’s sort of hard to push it when you grab a defensive rebound and jog up the floor. But that’s the Cavs today.
Interestingly, the one guy who’s been at the center of some rumors and skepticism, Dion Waiters, is the only one who’s been filling it up. Waiters finished with a team-high 21 points, one game after finishing with a team-high 24. On Friday, the Cavs were minus-3 with Waiters on the floor. That was a whole lot better than most anyone else.
Waiters also led the team with six assists. That’s two more than the entire starting five. For whatever reason, and it may be a good one, Waiters is doing all this off the bench. Maybe he’s just better in reserve.
And you sure can’t blame Brown for shaking up the starting lineup. It’s not like anything was working before all this -- as the Cavs have lost eight of nine.
Now, there’s no trying to spin anything around this team as “good news” right now. But if there’s a ray of hope, it’s that the entire Eastern Conference has been just about as bad. If the Cavs can figure this out (and yes, there’s still an unbelievable amount of time), they can be right in the thick of things fairly easily.
If that can actually happen, no one knows. And if anyone’s watched this and say they do, they’re not being honest.
Kyrie Irving added 17 points for the Cavs.
The Celtics received a season-high 31 points from Jeff Green, who had his way with anybody the Cavs put on him. Jordan Crawford, a former ball-hog and me-first guy, added 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Just goes to show that attitudes can change circumstances. With the way things are going, the Cavs could use quite a bit of that.
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