In Dion Waiter’s Philadelphia homecoming, it’s hard to imagine the Cavaliers playing worse than they did against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. In a game where essentially every Cavalier looked lost, the Sixers defeated the Cavaliers by a score of 113-99. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 23 points, while Maalik Wayns lead Philadelphia with 19.
The Wind & Gold looked lost in every aspect of the game, especially on defense. Philadelphia essentially did whatever they wanted. Besides Wayns, Nick Young, Thaddeus Young, Dorell Wright, and Jrue Holiday all scored in double digits. The Sixers shot 50.0% overall from the field, 7.3% higher than the Cavaliers 42.7% shooting.
Offensively, the Cavaliers were awful outside of Irving, who also struggled. They settling for a lot of jumpers, not attacking the rim, and overall treating the game like a preseason game. There was no fire, and they played like they were there to just walk though the motions. Tristan Thompson and Daniel Gibson both had solid games, but they didn’t do anything we know they couldn’t. Anderson Varejao looked bad, even though he scored ten points. He lacked the usual burst of energy we expect from the Brazilian.
As for the hometown hero Waiters, with rapper and friend Meek Mill in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center , it was another head scratching performance. He settled for a lot of forced jumpers, and again looked like he’s not ready to play a lot at this level. In twenty-seven minutes, Waiters was 2 of 9 from the field, scoring five points. He was also 0 of 5 from three-point range, and had a plus/minus of -10. Outside of his stellar performance against the Chicago Bulls, this is what we have to come to expect from Waiters so far this preseason. It’s early still, but what we have seen so far hasn’t been encouraging.
The one bright spot for the Cavaliers was their free throw shooting. They were 22 of 31 from the line for a solid 71.0%. If they can keep that up, it could help them out in games that come down to wire.
The Cavaliers are now off until next Tuesday, when they take on the Indiana Pacers.