Cavs Drop Game to Wizards

the-wizWizards 109, Cavs 101 (box)

Nice to know that the Wizards show up when it matters most.  Wait a minute.  This was a regular season game?  Never mind.  The Cavs played a bad game against the Wizards last night.  The Cavs still managed to come back on the Wizards in the second half as they knocked down the Wiz’s 14 point lead.  In the end, the Cavs were unable to hold off the Wizards and they broke up the Cavs’ 13 game winning streak.  Now, the particulars.

  • The player of the night was apparently Darnell Jackson.  His +/- was +12.  He had two points and five rebounds.  He and Mo Williams (+4) were the only players who had +s in the box score.
  • There was much talk about this being the return of Gilbert Arenas, but he looked really rusty.  He was 3-11 shooting and shot a couple real clunkers from beyond the three point line.  It will be interesting to see what kind of player he turns out to be the rest of his career after the knee problems.  Despite the rivalry, I have always enjoyed Gilbert Arenas’ game and how he goes about his business.
  • Caron Butler was a monster last night with 25 points.  His big games seem so sneaky to me.  You aren’t quite sure how well he is playing and then all of a sudden he puts up 25 points.
  • For the first time in a while, I really missed Ben Wallace.  It seemed as if the Cavs were completely overmatched in the paint.  That includes Varejao, Ilgauskas, and Joe Smith.  I don’t have a stat to back it up, but it seemed that the Cavs were worse at protecting the paint than normal.
  • Did anyone see Deshawn Stevenson last night?  That underachieving journeyman role-player was hurt, but I am sure he was really prideful last night for no reason. That makes me angry.

So that’s what it feels like to lose.  I had forgotten with the streak of victories that the Cavs had been displaying lately.  It stinks to lose to the Wizards, but then again, it is just one game.  It is one loss out of 14 on the season for the Cavs.  Let’s hope they were just looking ahead to tonight’s matchup against Orlando in Orlando.  Orlando is also coming off a streak-ending loss at the hands of Bosh and the Raptors.  They dropped that game 99-95 to end a six game winning streak. 

Apparently, Stan Van Gundy is still salty about the Cavs’ latest victory over the Magic in Cleveland.

“You won’t see that call again. That, I guarantee you,” Van Gundy said. “You will not see, with the game on the line, a 3-second call in the last 10 seconds. That’s part of the reason they’re 30-1 at home. They’re a very good team, and when you get calls like that (expletive), you’re in pretty good shape.”

Can someone relay this to Lebron just in case he hadn’t heard that he didn’t actually win the game against the Magic?  Apparently the referees had more to do with it than the presumptive MVP.

  • Swig

    LeBron had a party Wednesday night downtown. I’m sure that had nothing to do with them being lackadaisical.

  • BrianRut

    The Wizards had a pretty good plan to exploit the Cav’s pick and roll defense. It seemed like Washington was running the pick and roll closer to the basket. By the time the weakside defender came over to help out on the screener, he only had to roll a step or two to the basket.

  • Lebrowns 23

    Van Gundy is a idiot who can’t get his team to beat the pistons.

  • AMC

    @ Brian – that’s a good point, and I thought Mike Brown had an awful night. He was screwing with the rotations and very slow to make adjustments that made any sense. I thought the coaching lacked effort as well. Let’s hope they used all their efforts for tonight’s game.

  • Boomhauer

    Why was Wally guarding Songalia when it was clear he was killing him? Should’ve had Smith in there.

  • Eli

    What really killed me about Mike Brown in that game, other than some of the awful rotations, was that he was sitting down calmly while his team was getting beat badly.

    There were quite a few times where a Wizard’s player sneaked down the floor while we were finishing our offensive set and this led to like 10 ridiculous fast break points after the inbound pass would be heaved across the court to the open man. Its Browns job more than anyone to yell at this players that this is happening and get somebody back to cover.

  • phil

    Still not enough of the real Z, not enough Joe Smith (Why?), and, as Craig noted, nothing much pretty to look at in the paint. It’s a relief that the next game is not long in coming. May it put the memory of this one to rest.

  • bitmatt

    This was a loss you could see coming from a long way away. Streak had to end somewhere- why not where it would be most embarrassing and in front of a national TV audience? That’s the perfect place to set up some sleepy defensive strategies and pass the ball around nonsensically until there is half a second on the shot clock before missing badly on an off-balance jumper when down by fourteen points. All the time in the world to come back in this one, right? Wait- it’s over? Whoops!

    Cavs were going to lose sometime, and the Wiz have their number this year much like the Cats have the Lakers’; so it isn’t the end of the world. The worst part- now a win in Orlando becomes much more important to maintain the best record cushion. Because, the other worst part- the Cavs have one more against the Wiz next week. Think they can’t lose at home to the Wiz? It took an Xmas Miracle to win in December, and Santa won’t be wearing black & white stripes this time around. So, better beat the Magic.

    Related: Cavs could have used Ben Wallace last night. The Wiz offense was waaay too close to the basket.

  • MacNip

    I think I read somewhere that the Cavs took 30 threes last night. That is a ridiculous number

  • RockKing

    I can’t stand it when the +/- stat is used by itself. Outside of context, it is meaningless. Jackson played 18.5 minutes and had 2 points and 5 rebounds. Pathetic. Yeah, he played good defense, but would Smith’s defense have been so much worse so as to offset the offensive boost he might have given? This was the 2nd worst defensive team in the NBA, and the Cavs allowed them to contain the Cleveland offense, mostly because Jackson played so many minutes and was worthless on offense.

    If there is one single game where Darnell Jackson gets more minutes than Joe Smith (or DOUBLE the minutes, for that matter), it will be one game too many. In my opinion, of course.

  • Denny

    Big ups to Eli, CJG, DCBucks and the guys who don’t comment but still read the site – thanks for coming out last night.

    In terms of the Cavs, they made me sad last night.

  • S-Dub

    @Rock: To say that D-Block was the reason we lost this game was a little ridiculous. To me he (and Windhorst on Twitter) was one of the only reasons the Cavs were able to cut the lead down. The rest of the big men (Z, Andy, Smith, Wally) couldn’t even secure a freaking rebound when we needed them too. Wally was a joke on the defensive end, Sasha looked like he had his head up his… LBJ looked uninspired, Delonte the same.

    I really think the team was just coasting through this one so that they could save the energy for Orlando tonight. I mean what would it matter if we went full bore against the Wiz to only get blown out by the Magic?????? We win tonight this loss doesn’t matter at all.

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  • RockKing

    “To say that D-Block was the reason we lost this game was a little ridiculous.”

    Sure is. Good thing I never said that. What’s ridiculous is Jackson getting more than double the minutes of Joe Smith. I’m sorry, but Jackson did not help the Cavs beyond his defense in that game. His offensive game was completely non-existent.

    Also, I’m not quite sure how Windhorst on Twitter helped the Cavs get back in the game. I’m assuming you meant that Windhorst said on Twitter that Jackson was the reason the Cavs got back into the game. That’s fine. I don’t have to agree with everything Windhorst writes. I was not impressed by Jackson in that game at all.

  • Denny

    I tried to get at Windy via Twitter during the game. I was too drunk to type. Not surprisingly, we did not meet.

  • Nicko

    @14 – I am 100% with you here. Seemed like everyone took the night off, including the coaching staff. Let’s hope they can put it together tonight.

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