If the Cavaliers could have taken their ball and gone home last night, they might have just done it. A night after losing to Memphis in overtime, the Cavaliers seemed tired, irritable and ill-tempered. The technicals mounted as the Cavs began to lose any semblance of cool. The Cavs weren’t getting a lot of calls, sure, but these refs were pretty bad both ways. The Rockets handled it better than the Cavs did though. Mo Williams, Shaquille O’Neal and Delonte West all got technicals. Mike Brown even got himself ejected before the end of the first half after he stomped his way onto the court. I don’t know if Mike Brown lost his mind, was trying to get the refs to make better calls, or fire up his team. Maybe he just sensed how bad this team was going to look and decided not to watch it so up close. Make no mistake though, the refs did not cost the Cavs this game.
The Cavs lost this game by shooting 4-14 from the field in the first quarter. The Cavaliers lost this game by shooting 5-15 from three. The Cavaliers lost this game by committing 26 personal fouls, getting numerous technicals, and committing 20 (TWENTY!) turnovers over the course of the game. The Cavaliers lost this game by not having a center that could capitalize on the match up with the Rockets’ undersized 6 foot 6 inch center Chuck Hayes. The Cavs lost because Mo Williams went 2-10 from the field. The Cavs lost because LeBron James went 8-21 from the field and seemed more intent on throwing his arms up and screaming “HEY!” every time he went to the rim in attempt to get a foul called.
The Cavaliers were off the rails last night. They were easily frustrated and their “gameplan” never game into fruition at all. At this point, I am going to consider this one an outlier for statistical purposes. This isn’t the normal Cavaliers team that we have become accustomed to watching. They were playing the second night of a back-to-back after getting beaten by an inferior team in frustrating fashion in overtime. I will consider this game a one-off temper tantrum for the boys in wine and gold. They have an off day today before playing Portland on Friday night in Cleveland. We can talk about problems if and when the Cavs come out horribly on Friday.
Other Notes: Boobie Gibson hurt his hand, but X-rays were negative. Sounds to me like a day-to-day type of injury. Hopefully it won’t derail his productive start to the season.