Now that, my friends, is Cleveland sports!
Like I said the other day, the Cavaliers play one of two ways: 1) They come out flat and get their pumpkins carved right from the opening tip; or 2) They play a rather steady brand of basketball for a majority of the game but wind up losing nonetheless.
The latter of which happened on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Riding a 22 game losing streak – and looking to avoid tying the all-time record for most consecutive losses – the Cavaliers came out a little flat in the first quarter. Their weak-side defense was dismal. And their on-the-ball defense, too, was less than stellar. After allowing the Grizzlies an opportunity to find a groove and begin the game 10-for-10 from the field, Byron Scott and his squad buckled down on the defensive end and pushed ahead by six after the opening quarter.
A strong(er) defensive effort in the second quarter allowed the Cavaliers to extend their lead to seven heading into the break and they seemed to be in perfect position to end the drought in front of a rather modest home crowd.
Ramon Sessions and Anthony Parker continued their smooth play as of late, going for 20 and 18 points respectively. But, as usual, JJ Hickson’s poor performance on the defensive end ultimately doomed the Wine & Gold. His dismal -19 efficiency rating was nearly twice as bad as anyone else on the Cavaliers roster. His effort was so poor that, at times, Coach Byron Scott may as well have played with just four guys down at that end of the floor. Ridiculous. I cannot stand watching the guy play any longer and can only hope Chris Grant can find a general manager dumb enough to take on his lack of heart.
Manny Harris had one of his worst games as a Cavalier as he was held scoreless in more than 18 minutes of work. He had twice as many turnovers (4) as he did assists (2) and was accountable for more Memphis points than he was Cavalier points. But it happens to the best of ‘em. Can’t blame the young guy. Especially when you consider the heart that he played with the entire game. He never gave up; never quit playing; and that’s what I want to see out of these guys at this point in the season.
Anyways, welcome to the records books Cavs fans. 23 straight and counting…
They’ll be searching for sole possession of first place on Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Drink up, Believeland!