Cavs Come Up Short to Sixers in Final Seconds

As Cleveland has seen too many times before, a considerable lack of go-to weapons haunted the Cavaliers when they needed them the most.

Hosting the Philadelphia 76ers, down three points with less than one minute remaining, Cavs head coach Byron Scott drew up a play that would provide point guard Ramon Sessions with two different options that would hopefully tie up the contest.  Those options were Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker who, up to that point in the evening, were a combined 3-of-19 from the floor.

Knowing that the Cavaliers would need three points and would try to find one of their two players who could convert said shot (the other two players on the floor were JJ Hickson and Samardo Samuels), the Philadelphia defense converged on Gibson and Parker, forcing Gibson to pass the ball away to Hickson who would attempt a quick shot.  The result was a smart defensive play by Philly’s Thaddeus Young and a crucial turnover (pictured above) that would ultimately end in a 95-91 win for the visiting team.

“With 12 seconds left, I didn’t want to hoist up a bad shot with a lot of time left,” said Gibson postgame. “I wanted to hit J.J and then come back off of him to get a cleaner look or maybe even a quick two instead of a bad three. J.J tried to make the right play.”

Hickson, who finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds (both game-highs), unfortunately picked a bad time to not rise above the rest of the competition.  Amassing his 16th double-double of the season, the young forward/center pulled down nine offensive rebounds and added two steals and a blocked shot.  He has recorded seven double-doubles in his last eight games, but could not convert when it may have mattered the most.

Also unfortunate was the third quarter loss of Antawn Jamison who sustained a fractured finger on his non-shooting hand.  It was Jamison’s absence that forced Paker and Gibson as the lone deep threats as well as forcing Byron Scott to give clutch minutes to undrafted rookie Samardo Samuels.  The Louisville alum chipped in admirably with 12 points, six rebounds and a block in 24 minutes off of the bench, but there is no denying that the play in question would have featured Jamison in his position.

As of the game’s completion, there was not a prognosis on Jamison’s damaged digit.  The Cavs will take Monday off before practicing on Tuesday and hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Stinkfist

    Well, poo. There goes our win streak

  • Vengeful Pat

    Did any of the new guys play last night?

  • Scott

    Pat – no. Harangody dressed, but was DNP-CD.

  • Eddie Sportas

    Not too thrilled with the team taking off today instead of practicing. Would be nice to give the new guys two good practice sessions before San Antonio comes to town.

  • oribiasi

    @ Pat — I think they were not “ready” in time to play or on file in time to play, something like that was reported before the game.

  • Lyon

    Just when you think JJ “gets” how he’s supposed to play, he reminds you that, he may never get it completely.

    No reason at all for him to do anything on the play other than pass it right back like it’s a hot potato. He should not dribble the ball at all, unless he’s backing down in the post.

  • Roosevelt

    If JJ can play like that every night, he will be a valuable piece – 14-16 points, mostly off hustle and ten or twelve rebounds. But as we continue to see, he’ll never be any sort of go to option.

    Last night was nice – they competed against a reasonably competitive team. They’re doing this despite being at an obvious personnel disadvantage night after night. Get some people in place and they should be even more fun to watch.

  • humboldt

    @Lyon/Roosevelt – agreed. JJ is one of those players who is probably best served on a good team where he’s the 3rd or 4th option. I still feel strongly that we should consider him a trade asset first and building block for the future second.

  • MattyFos

    When Boobie passed the ball to JJ (which he shouldn’t have) he should have demanded the ball back as soon as it hit JJ’s hands. JJ shouldn’t have control of the ball, with the clock running down, 18 feet out. JJ tried to make a play but he shouldn’t have been put in that position.

  • kpome

    Please people give JJ a break. A guy scores 22 points and gets 16 rebounds and all you can think about is to denegrade his effort. Does anybody care to count how many times Lebron, Wade, Carmello, Kobe, Duncan, Novitski etc have lost the game for their team in the closing hours of game. C’mon now, things happen and if JJ does not try to develop being the go to option, he will never be. He has to make mistakes to learn from them… and can any of you tell me who is the 2nd or 3rd option on any of the so called championship teams who scores 22 points and grabs 16 rebounds a night?…Leave the kid alone. One problem with cleveland fans is that they never appreciate what they have until they lose it.

  • humboldt

    @kpome – no one is denigrating JJ as a player. Many people simply make the calculation that he is more valuable to the team as a trading chip than a building block. The answer, of course, depends on what his ceiling is, and also what you could potentially get for him, both of which are unknowns.

  • Shamrock

    Anyone hear during the game how in the locker room the Cavaliers only show standings as of Feb. 11th, the end of the 26 game losing streak? It was supposedly Anthony Parker’s idea as a way of helping morale. Ugh!

  • saggy

    i think we should start a Clippers-watch! Root against them so we can get a better draft pick!

  • kpome

    So tell me Mr. Humboldt, if you were the Cavs GM, WHO WILL YOU TRADE JJ FOR?….Guys say a lot of trash on this site without any good knowledge of basketball….and how do know what JJ’s ceiling is?….he has only played consistent minutes for less than 50 games…for all you know, he might end up being a better player in the end than Blake freaking Griffin and even LBJ.