Cavs’ Additional Size Falls Short in OT

After showing questionable effort in nights past, Cavs head coach Byron Scott mixed things up by countering New Jersey’s Brook Lopez with a seven-footer of his own in Ryan Hollins.

On paper, the Cavaliers managed to hold the Nets to 34 percent shooting; Lopez himself was 7-of-21 – both marks receiving positive grades in the grand scheme of the 2010-11 Cavaliers season.  But when it was all said and done, the Wine and Gold were outscored by four in overtime and would come up on the losing end of the 98-94 contest.

Typically, overtime is a period where experience and talent wins out.  The Cavaliers, rife with players who would seemingly counter both qualities, would ultimately sputter in the extra period due to a stretch that involved two missed jump shots, a missed layup and a turnover.

Prior to the contest, starting center Ryan Hollins told the media that the Cavaliers head coach was simply looking for consistent effort from his players as “playing hard is contageous.”  And judging by the coach’s comments following the loss, it certainly seems as if the two sides were on the same page in this on.

“It was one of the first games in a while, defensively, that I thought we were focused for 53 minutes,” said Scott.  “Our guys really battled and did a real good job defensively and that is something that we have been talking about; trying to establish that as our foundation. Tonight was a big step towards that.”

Like many times before, the Cavaliers found themselves down two points with less than one minute left on the clock, but could not execute – we’ve often mentioned the lack of a go-to option.  In this one, the Cavaliers called upon Ramon Sessions (who led all players with 21 points, having one of his best games since the Cavs acquired Baron Davis), but the result of the attempted layup was a steal by New Jersey’s Kris Humphries though the call was indeed questionable at best after some contact occurred near the basket.

“In situations like that most of the time, referees are not going to give you that call,” said Scott. “Let’s just be honest, they are not going to give you that call unless you are Kobe (Bryant) or somebody like that, but they are not going to give you that call.”

As Craig discussed less than one week ago, the Cavaliers have seen considerably fewer trips to the free throw line despite playing at a higher pace.  Without a “superstar,” the Wine and Gold are not going to be able to rely on “superstar” calls and instead have to focus that much more on execution.  In this very instance, Sessions admitted to losing his footing and attempting to draw contact before he would be whistled for traveling.

Humphries, who Scott called “a man” earlier in the day, finished with 18 points, two blocked shots and a career-high 23 rebounds.

“We lost the game so I’m not concerned with individual performances,” said Ryan Hollins of his starting job. “I know I played as hard as I could play, so I’ll give myself that. But we win as a team and lose as a team.”

For those wondering just how well the JJ Hickson-Power Forward experiment went, the 6-foot-9-inch big man notched 17 points and 17 rebounds.  He was 5-of-15 from the floor, but did manage to get to the line eight times where he would only miss one free throw attempt.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Lyon

    Is Hollins going to continue to get major minutes, or was that a result of Lopez being his assignment? B/c Watching him and brickhands JJ try to work in the post is not good TV.

    And there’s no reason the PG and SG should both outrebound the 7ft C.

    Dear God, let’s hope next year isn’t this bad.

  • mgbode

    @Lyon – if you want next year to not be this bad, then it’s good that we lost to the Nets. Washington couldn’t pull off the upset over the Clippers, so we needed the Nets to keep pace (I want 2 of Irving/Kanter/Derrick Williams)

  • jimkanicki

    no more swing men early please. need prototype PG and a true center.

    my wish list:
    irving
    perry jones (might be there with clips pick)
    sign FA kendrick perkins
    take a flyer on lighty in round 2.

    damn. that sounds good.

  • mgbode

    because LeBron/Wade/Pierce/Kobe/Durant etc. have proven to be such bad picks over the years? the NBA is now predicated on having swing guys who can score and defend. PG is definitely up there too, but after Irving, I think there’s a huge dropoff.

    I like Kanter as a C, which is why I have him 2nd on my list, but Perry Jones is so soft that he sleep number is negative.

    Perkins isn’t signing with Cleveland. that’s silly talk. you think he would leave Boston and get to go to OKC and then leave offers on the table with all contending teams who have $$$ to throw at him to come to the Cavs? Ummm…no.

    a flyer on Lighty in round2 isn’t a bad idea. he ‘should’ be better than Manny Harris and he’s shown bright spots.

  • jimkanicki

    hey mg — i’m just saying that we grabbed hickson, eyenga (dont laugh and why not see how he develops), and jamison when we had lebron. like… huh? then we patched in pieces at PG (with a small SG) and C (with two old men).

    who’s going to get derrick williams the ball and going to occupy the other team’s C when he drives?

    i’m cool with kanter, but don’t see him there at .. let’s say #10 the way the clips are playing. perry jones could be and he has some freakish talent. the same sort of risk involved with him as with hickson when he was drafted.

    i would just like to get serious about getting a rondo/rose level PG and an honest-to-god low post paint presence (for the first time since daugherty).

  • Mark

    I thought Perkins signed an extension with OKC after the trade.

  • Lyon

    Mark, me too. Think I read it was 4 years.

    and MG, I know losing to the Nets was good for us, but still, it’s aggravating watching this team, lol.

  • jimkanicki

    dang. you’re right mark, my mistake.

    take a flyer on greg oden maybe? yao? sam dalembert? (you can see that centers are hard to come by…)

  • mgbode

    I’m still hanging onto hope that the Clippers stay at #8 or even drop down a couple slots to #6. They have a brutal closing schedule with teams jockeying for playoff position.

    I agree with you that I would like to get a top-flight PG and a real C stalwart. I just don’t think they exist in this draft after Irving and Kanter. So, I don’t want to miss out on a useful player to reach for someone I personally think will bust.

    And I definitely want to see what Eyenga has, but if we draft a SF, then we put him at SG. If a SG, then we put him at SF (I think defensive SG is what his role should be if we can draft a SF who can take more of the scoring burden).

  • Mark

    Jim – You know, I might take a flyer on Oden if the cost wasn’t too great. He still has a high upside and is young. If he could ever stay healthy, well, then you’d have a legitimate center.

    But the only way he is coming here is if we’d over pay. I don’t think that’s too smart.

  • jimkanicki

    why is robert sacre (gonzaga) projected as 2nd rounder? i guess i’m just a dumb fan, but he looked damn good to me.

  • jimkanicki

    why is robert sacre (gonzaga) projected as 2nd rounder? i guess i’m just a dumb fan, but he looked damn good to me.

  • Lyon

    Jim, sometimes I ask the same thing, but then there are times where he disappears on the court. That’s probably why he’s not as highly valued.

    But then again, if Mullens can be a 1st round pick, how is Sacre not? Wouldn’t mind using a 2nd rd pick on him. Atleast he’s got size.

  • Shamrock

    Kemba Walker & Harrison Barnes in draft!

  • jimkanicki

    ok mg –> derek williams looks special. no question. difference maker. i want him on my team. he’ll get minutes.

    maybe we bring pete carril on board and run a crazy offense with five forwards? williams with hickson, AV, eyenga, and jamison?

    fwiw, here’s a mock with us taking williams #1…and NORRIS COLE in 2nd round for your PG. ?!