August 15, 2014

Bobcats 110, Cavs 93: Antawn Jamison Struggles in Epic Loss to Charlotte

SPORTS BKN-CAVALIERS-BOBCATS 1 CHThe Cavaliers lost their second consecutive game following the All-Star Break with a 110-93 beat-down last night via the Charlotte Bobcats. The victory gave the ‘Cats the 3-1 advantage in the season series, becoming the first team to beat LeBron’s Cavaliers three times in one regular season in two years. It was not a pretty game in the least bit for a Friday night in North Carolina as Antawn Jamison’s career in a Cavaliers uniform got off a depressing start.

Jamison finished 0-for-12 from the court with just two points on late free throws in his Cavs debut in front of his hometown crowd in Charlotte. The new acquisitions on the other hand for Charlotte, dictated the pace of the game by forcing the Cavaliers away from their normal comfort zone in the paint. LeBron James looked uncomfortable throughout the contest as the exhaustion set in during the second-half of a back-to-back following a week of inaction.

Cleveland lead by five after the first quarter, utilizing strong outside shooting as well as a decent conversion rate at the basket by Shaquille O’Neal. Entering the game, many viewed the size of O’Neal to be a huge factor against the smaller yet quite athletic front court of Charlotte. In the previous three contests, the Cavaliers out-rebounded the ‘Cats by five per game while converting at a rate of 71.0% at the rim. Throughout the rest of the ball game, this would be the way the Cavs fell out of control and got dominated at their own game.

With the score tied at halftime, Cavs fans at least felt moderately optimistic about the team’s chances for the rest of the game. LeBron was doing all right and considering the fact Jamison already went 0-for-8 from the field, it seemed like things could only improve. That was a huge fault however as incredible defense of the Bobcats dominated the contest and turned the second half into a rout.

Armed with newcomers Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff (pictured above against Shaq,) the Bobcats confused the Cavaliers in the painted area. For the season, Cleveland still leads the league with a +8.1 differential in the paint, thanks to allowing an NBA-low 35.3 points per game in that region. Charlotte ranks fifth in the league at +2.9 in this category, but last night was an entirely different story for both teams.

The Cavaliers were only 10-21 at the rim last night, according to HoopData.com, and in the end, the Bobcats doubled up the Cavs by a count of 48 to 24 in the paint. Anytime a team is out-scored by that many points in one particular facet of the ball game, it is going to be very difficult to win. This was one of the most frustrating contests to watch in a long time as evidenced by the various records set this evening:

- Antawn Jamison registered the first 0-for-12 in the NBA since Vince Carter did so back in December 2008. (Information via John Krolik/Cavs: The Blog)
- The 17 point loss was the most this season and the biggest in the regular season since a 29-point loss to Orlando in April 2009.
- The 54.7% Charlotte shooting was the highest allowed by Cleveland this year and the 39.0% Cavs shooting was their worst in a span of 53 games. (Via Brian Windhorst’s Blog)
- The 29 three point attempts were the most by the Cavaliers this season and in the three losses against Charlotte, the team has averaged 26 such attempts.
- The 47.6% shooting at the rim was the fourth worst of the season, and the team is now just 2-6 when shooting below 56.5% from this spot.
- J.J. Hickson finished with just six points. Why does this matter? The team is a sparkling 24-1 when he registers that lucky seventh point.

It really is not worth the time of recapping the game line by line to go over the various parts where Charlotte seized momentum. In the end, the Cavaliers lost by 17 to a team they have simply struggled against this season. We know that Jamison can only get better as he gets more acclimated with the culture and style of the Cavaliers and that the team will work harder on Sunday afternoon against the Magic.

Keep the comments civil about this game. We all understand that the team has lost the only two game in the post-Zydrunas Ilgauskas era for Cleveland, but the team still has the best record in the NBA and leads the East by six games. More on this later in the afternoon.

(Photo above via Jeff Siner/Chalotte Observer/MCT)

  • Jack

    Icky game. Not unexpected.

    I know it sounds stupid, but I’m glad this happened. Everyone starts the “now CLE is the favorite chatter, 13 games, LBJ, Jamison, blah blah blah.” The NBA is deeper than ever. The talent is unprecedented in league history, and you can’t walk over anyone. You don’t get to simulate games and the guys with the highest ratings win. Gotta play hard. Gotta stay disciplined. We have done neither the last two nights.

    This is good for them, and I honestly expect a great performance against the ORL.

  • Jeff

    Maybe Lebron got caught up in the offensive debauchery that is the all star game…hoisting up from everywhere at all the wrong times and then just thinking he can walk into the lane for an uncontested lay up or two.

    I don’t know where this team goes wrong with the Bobcats but those games have not looked pretty. Charlotte has a chance to be a decent team with some good young players and a coach like Larry. Look out.

  • JM

    The All Star Break, trying to fit Jamison in, back to back games. Plus Charlotte is looking decent this year. Thats all I got about this loss.

  • Grosen

    I blame the fact that WFNY hosted a watch party…

  • MattyFos

    MAKE THEM RESPECT YOU TWAN!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Jacob

    @Grosen – Smooth. Comment of the day?

  • EC

    A lot of people clearly don’t know much about the game of basketball.

    At its core, basketball is all about MATCH UPS.

    For whatever reason, the Bobcats don’t match up well against the New Jersey Nets and the Cavs don’t match up well with the Bobcats.

    You can tell when watching the games. The Bobcats didn’t seem able to guard anyone on the Nets the other night as every player on the Nets was blowing past every Bobcats player like a lightning bold, and except for James and O’Neal, Cleveland’s roster of role players looked completely outmatched by the Bobcats last night. Five on Five, not even James is enough to make up the difference.

    Cleveland’s players aren’t as quick as the Nets players, and other than James, they are a collection of role players. Same thing with the Lakers.

    The Bobcats always get up for those games, and play both of those teams well.

    They couldn’t keep up with the Nets. We’ll see if that changes now that they’ve added Thomas to the line up.

  • TSR3000

    EC- I agree with you about match ups. I do think the playoffs are a whole different can of worms. I am not going to panic.

    Not really an “epic” loss.

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    @TSR3000 I’m with you how does “epic loss” apply? I guess if you had to pick a time for an epic loss you’d want it in game #56 as opposed to being in game 7 of the playoffs.

  • Azaman174

    Basically restarting the season from 0-2…just wait we will be back

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