Ouch. Fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Wiz, the Cavs traveled to Orlando Friday night to try and avoid their second two-game losing streak all season. Many of us were hoping that Thursday night’s game was bad because the Cavs players and coaches were looking past the Wizards. Maybe that would explain the strange rotations and lackadaisical effort by the Cavs against the Zephyrs Wizards. We hoped the Cavs would show up and play as they have so far this season. Prior to last night the Cavs were 15-2 in the second game of back-to-backs. However, the Cavs didn’t really show up last night.
Last night we witnessed an extremely impressive showing of the inside-outside game and pushing the tempo offensively. We saw great team defense. We saw absolutely lethal three point shooting. We saw everything that the Orlando Magic are capable of. We also saw that the Cavs still have a long way to go.
The Cavs never hit a stride on offense. Early on they kept feeding the ball inside, only to have Andy do his Jekyll and Hyde act. LeBron struggled early on, and nobody else stepped up to boost the offense. Meanwhile, Orlando was feeding Howard and spreading the floor with their shooters. The Magic hit a total of 13 threes in the game, including one from Marcin Gortat at the end of the game.
At one point in the third quarter the Cavs were down 40 points. That is the biggest deficit LeBron has ever faced, according to the AP writeup. Mike Brown summed the game up well, saying ”They kicked our behinds starting with Stan Van Gundy. He and his staff did a nice job. They outworked myself and my staff, and their players outworked our players. From top to bottom, we got our behinds kicked.”
The Cavs were a half-step behind all night. Offensively they were forcing up shots right before the 24-second clock expired and lacked confidence in their own shot-taking ability. Defensively the Cavs were late defending the extra pass, and were slow coming on their interior rotations. To sum it up, it was an all-around suckfest.
Not a good way to start this ship on the weekend, but whatever – there’s always the Final Four. And as my buddy Schultz so eloquently tweeted yesterday, “T minus 2 days until opening day and T minus 5 days until The Masters…..what a great week”. So there’s always that.