The Cavaliers fell to the surprising Philadelphia 76ers tonight, 94 – 79. Philadelphia improves to 4-2 (typing that record felt wrong) and the Cavs fall to 2-4.
The Cavaliers opened the game extremely well, leading by 14 after a quarter. After this, however, Cleveland’s offense entered the dead zone, totaling just 51 points over the next three quarters. The starting five shot just 28 percent (19-of-67) from the field. The bench was led by the red-hot C.J. Miles, who scored 13 points (5-of-7 FG, 2-of-4 3FG) in just 18 minutes. The scoring was lead by Dion Waiters (18 points, 7-of-19 FG, 3-of-6 3FG), and Tristan Thompson continued his impressive post play, posting a double-double with 13 points (5-of-15 FG) and 16 rebounds in a team-high 35 minutes.
Kyrie Irving was no exception to the offensive debacle, as he scored just 10 points (4-of-17 FG, 1-of-6 3FG) in 34 minutes, although he did have 9 assists.
Philadelphia was led by Evan Turner, who scored 22 points (10-of-18 FG), 10 rebounds and five assists in a team-high 37 minutes. Rookie phenom Michael Carter-Williams scored 11 points (4-of-13 FG) to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. Tony Wroten scored 18 off the bench. In other news, Kwame Brown is on their roster.
First overall pick Anthony Bennett left the game with a sprained right shoulder. Prior to tonight’s game he had been averaging 1.0 PPG (.050 FG%) 3.2 RPG and 1.2 STLPG.
-There will be games like this. Should the Cavs be losing to the 76ers? Probably not. But it’s not like the Cavs did exceptionally poor (statistically) in any area other than shooting. They did not get out-rebounded by much (47-43), they committed less turnovers (17-13) and they committed less fouls (18-12). The Cavs simply could not get shots to fall.
– I’m just going to avoid talking about Bynum, because I really don’t have anything to add. Got boo’d, had a quiet game.
– Frankly, I think if the Bennett injury is somewhat serious, it might not be such a bad thing. For two main reasons:
1.) There’s a major play time dilemma with the Cavs right now. It’s hard to get all the bench players significant playing time when guys like Tristan Thompson are playing so well. If Thompson is playing well, that prevents any real play time for Bennett at PF, which means he has to scrap for minutes behind Earl Clark at SF, where he would split time with C.J. Miles and Alonzo Gee. If Bennett can’t get significant playing time, he can’t improve. It may actually be a good thing for Bennett to lay back for a bit until the Cavs can get their rotation and playing time truly figured out (or until more guys get injured).
2.) The guy is obviously struggling. He can take the injury time to take a step back, and figuring out what’s going wrong with his game. Also, perhaps to get in better physical shape.
– Typically I’m up in arms when a rookie doesn’t play, but I think it could take some time before Sergey Karasev is in the rotation. Almost all the backcourt minutes are eaten up by Irving, Waiters and Jack, with a few of the scraps going to Miles. I’m saddened that we probably won’t see him or Tyler Zeller play much, but hey, that’s what happens when you make a lot of offseason moves.