Like many teams, the Cavs could not guard Kobe Bryant. Like Kobe Bryant, many teams can put the ball in the basket. That is something that the Cavaliers apparently cannot do.
The Cavs lost to the Lakers 97-92 in Los Angeles. But it was nowhere near as horrible as the last trip to LA. Instead of losing by 50 points, the Cavs rallied from a big hole and were knocking on the door to take the lead. The Cavs played hard without a doubt. But when the time came to make big shots, they couldn’t score. Kyrie Irving led the way with 21 points and four assists. An impressive performance for a first start against the Lakers. Andy also had another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The rest of the team played well as well, but you can see where improvement is needed. Daniel Gibson had nine points, three rebounds, and two assists coming off the bench. However, he got those nine points by shooting three shots behind the three point line. One of them came with under a minute to play. He needs to come inside a bit more instead of constantly taking long range shots. Drive to the basket and take some mid-range jump shots for a change. I also wonder why Alonzo Gee, perhaps the most improved player on the team, got only two shots. He made one of those and finished with three points and three rebounds. I know he racked up five fouls in the game, but this is a trend I’ve been noticing on this road trip. He should get the ball in his hand for more than just two shots per game.
This road trip has really been a test on the Cavaliers. It’s also shown their weak points. This is still a team that settles for jump shots way too much. They need a balanced offense and an aggressive spirit on defense. So far, it’s been hit or miss on those fronts. The Cavs played hard for sure. They refused to be humiliated against Lakers again. I give them all the credit in the world. But they must continue to improve all around.