If you missed the ugly Cavaliers loss to the Kings yesterday, check out the highlights below. And proceed with caution. You can read my full recap here. Here is an excerpt:
From the organizations perspective, this about at the worst thing that could have happened, even if it is just the second game of Deng’s time as a member of the Wine & Gold. The last two games – a victory at home against the 76ers and a win on the road against the Jazz – looked as if the Cavaliers were energized by this trade and taking the step towards being a playoff team, albeit in the woeful Eastern Conference. The first win saw the Cavaliers just blowout a team they should have beaten and the second saw Cleveland overcome an ugly first half and then pull away in the second half.
And now those victories look like fluke performances rather than real improvements. They look as if the Cavaliers miraculously put together a competent game of basketball that every team is bound to have from time to time. It’s not quite rock bottom, but it’s close. These next three games – against the Lakers, the Trail Blazers and Nuggets – should tell us a lot about where this team is really at and where they are headed.
We are about to found out how this team responds to a blowout loss with Deng on the roster. Can he help them stay focused and come ready to play the next three nights out? Can he help Kyrie Irving – who was awful tonight – come out looking to redeem himself against the Lakers? Can he help Dion Waiters keep a positive outlook in a pretty ugly situation? All of these questions need – and will – be answered by the end of the next week.
Maybe this needed to happen. Maybe this was the loss Cavs fans and the organization needed as a reminder that this team still has a lot of issues and is by no means a lock to be playing playoff basketball came May. It certainty wasn’t pretty or easy to watch, but maybe it was necessary.
I guess we’ll find out Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.