Two days after the Cleveland Cavaliers were mathematically eliminated from the postseason, things got a little worse.
The Cavaliers traveled to Milwaukee to take on the NBA’s worst team, the Bucks. Although the game did not have any playoff implications, it served as a chance for the Cavaliers to bounce back and look to end the season on a positive note. Instead, the Cavaliers struggled from the start and ultimately lost the Bucks by a final score of 119-114.
The Cavaliers did have some positive against this Bucks team. With leading scorer Kyrie Irving struggling from the field, the Cavaliers relied heavily on Dion Waiters and hustle play from Tristan Thompson. The two teams traded leads, but after holding a solid at the half, the Cavaliers lost the game in the second half.
The Bucks outscored the Cavaliers 30-18 in the third quarter and took the lead for the majority of the rest of the game. In the final 2:30 of the game, the Cavaliers were outscored by the Bucks 8-5. The Cavaliers last few shots were missed badly, most notably a deep three from Irving that missed badly to the right.
The loss, in a way, resembles the Cavaliers’ 2013-2014 season. This team has, to say the least, been hard to figure out. And even when an outcome seems likely, Cleveland leaves you scratching your head wondering what went wrong.
PG Kyrie Irving – 32 minutes, 12 points, 4-12 shooting, 0-5 from three, two assists
This wasn’t a Kyrie Irving performance to write home about. He looked a little off for most of the game and his jump shot didn’t have much rhythm to it. Nothing to worry about, just interesting to watch nonetheless.
SG Dion Waiters – 30 minutes, 23 points, 8-15 shooting, five steals
Dion had another really strong game tonight. He was aggressive, got to the rim regularly and also had five steals. Games like this make me think that when the season ends, Waiters will be the Cavalier who improved the most over 82 games.
SF Alonzo Gee – 23 minutes, nine points, 3-8 shooting
In all likelihood, Gee only has three games left as a Cavaliers.
Enjoy his many talents while you still can.
PF Tristan Thompson – 35 minutes, 18 points, 5-8 shooting, 8-10 from the line, 10 rebounds
Tristan Thompson is so bad, you guys. So bad.
C Spencer Hawes - 25 minutes, 15 points, 7-12 shooting, six rebounds, FOULED OUT
Hawes’ effectiveness was limited by his foul trouble. He looked good in the stretches where he consistently able to stay on the floor, but he looked good when he was on the floor. He, too, could be winding up his Cleveland career here soon.
G Jarrett Jack - 34 minutes, 21 points, 7-13 shooting
Tonight’s game asked me one simple question: Have Irving, Waiters and Jack all played well on the same night? My gut tells me no.
I’m not sure what else Mike Brown could have done tonight to alter the game’s outcome. Without C.J. Miles and Luol Deng, the wing was lacking the firepower needed to help cover Irving’s struggles. As a result, no complaints here.