Cavaliers Will Try to Lose By Less Than 39 Points at Home Against Philly

Omri Casspi

I’m furious with the Cleveland Cavaliers (20-40, 13th in the East). And I hate being mad at the Cavaliers. I love this franchise and I can’t wait for the day when they return to the playoffs and give us fun, rewarding, exciting, meaningful basketball to watch.

What we got last night was the polar opposite of that. The Cavaliers lost by 39 points to a team that was 22-38 going into that game. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Cavaliers were losing 100-50. Thank goodness they weren’t playing at the Q where “The Diff” would have probably fried the whole jumbotron for lack of ability to comprehend a 50 point deficit. Does anyone know if “The Diff” even goes that high (or, rather, that low)?

Look, I don’t care where you fall on the spectrum of this whole tanking issue. Some people like to cheer for lottery position, some people don’t. It doesn’t matter to me. We are all Cavs fans and we all want what’s best for this franchise going forward. We’re on the same team here. But I have to believe that a 39 point loss to Detroit, the Cavaliers’ fourth loss by 35+ points in just 60 games this season, is completely unacceptable for all of us.

I know the excuses. It’s a bunch of D-League players, there’s nothing left to play for, the team just wants better draft picks for next year, etc., etc., etc. Losing is one thing. I can accept losing. Heck, since opening day of this season I’ve been saying over and over again that we shouldn’t worry about wins and losses with this team. For me, this season has been all about development.

So where’s the development? Early in the season, the team showed some signs and made us feel good about the future. But last year, in an 82 game season and a season with the most epic of losing streaks ever, the Cavaliers “only” lost by 35+ points twice. So in 22 fewer games this year they’ve doubled that. And who knows, more could be coming with upcoming games against Philly, New York, San Antonio, Memphis, and Chicago. I have no problem with fans being ok with the Cavaliers moving up in the lottery. But I’m not ok with fans who find a loss like this to be acceptable.

This franchise deserves better than what we got last night. If players want to roll over and die, they can do so for another franchise. We should all wants players on our team who are going to go out, give us their best, and at least show some competitiveness. We should want a coach who can get more out of his players than what we have seen in so many uninspired, pathetic performances this season.

Speaking of coaching, I asked the question on Twitter last night whether any coach has ever lost 4 games by 35+ points in a single season and kept his job. I don’t know the answer, but I seriously doubt Coach Scott is going anywhere. And you know what? For everything he and this franchise has gone through in two years, he deserves a shot to develop Kyrie, Tristan, and whoever we draft this year. But his grace period is over. Enough is enough. I want to see some evidence that he can get through to this team. If this is a time for development, we need to see some signs that the coach is developing the young players on this team.

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Ok, enough with my rant about last night’s game. Let’s move on to tonight’s shot at redemption at home against the Philadelphia 76ers (31-30, 8th in the East). At one point earlier in the season, the Sixers looked like a team that could compete with just about anyone in the East. Now, they come into this game on a 3 game losing streak and having lost 7 of their last 9 games. Their record since March 14 is 6-13. Heck, the Cavaliers record in that span is only slightly worse at 4-16.

The Sixers are in a free-fall. They’ve slid all the way down to the 8 seed and are clinging to a playoff spot for dear life with Milwaukee, who are just 1.5 games back. You know Philly is viewing this game as a must win game and one they will bring their best to try to ensure they don’t drop any closer to the Bucks.

For the Cavaliers, there’s some hope Kyrie Irving might be able to return tonight. Boy I hope so. It feels like nothing has really been going right for this team since the All-Star break, and it would be nice to get some good news and a boost to the psyche of the team. As of the time of writing this, though, that answer is left unanswered. Fingers crossed.

If Kyrie plays, I’ll give the Cavaliers a shot in this game. I think Byron Scott is going lay into this team and get them to come out and play harder. Antawn Jamison is the ultimate professional. You think he doesn’t want to come out and make up for his 0-10 shooting last night? I expect the Cavaliers to show up tonight with something to prove. Well, maybe I don’t expect it. But I sure hope it happens.

If Kyrie doesn’t play, it’s going to be a tough game. But again, the expectations here shouldn’t be to win. I would like to see the Cavaliers win, but I don’t think they will and I’m ok if they lose….as long as the effort is there. I just want to see a good basketball game.

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Image Source: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    We’ve turned over half of the roster, only Jamison, Parker and maybe Gee have had an offseason with the Cavs at all. I am not concerned even by 40-point losses. Sure, they’re sad and no fun at all to watch, but expecting development from a bunch of D-Leaguers who haven’t had that much experience with Scott’s system? It’s just not feasible, so why expect it?

  • mgbode

    Players missing from last night’s game for the Cavs:
    AV, Irving, Gee, Gibson (plus Sessions who was traded)

    Players missing from last night’s game for the Pistons:
    None.

    I am sorry, but games like last night just happen in a short season with little to no practices and a team which has raided the D-League for players.  Add-in that Detroit is a better team currently even when both teams are at full strength (due to their overpayment of middling veterans that will cripple their efforts to truly get better, but still) and I just do not see a reason to get truly upset.

    now, mind you, part of that might be that I have switched gears off the Cavs and onto the Tribe and Browns draft (I will watch the close games but only later on when I can skip and choose what to watch online).

  • mgbode

    also, if we want Kyrie to play a few meaningless games the last week of the season just to get his confidence up for the offseason, fine.  but, he better be 100% with absolutely no chance of him re-injuring himself because he is over-compensating.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    The Cavaliers lost by 39 points. They were down 50 points. They were lifeless and played like they didn’t care. There was plenty to be upset about in that game.

    I know the Pistons are better. The Cavaliers could have lost by 15 and I’d have been ok with it. But you have to add 24 points to that deficit. It’s embarrassing. 

  • porckchopexpress

    Andrew these are young kids you go placing expectations on the with a headline like that and they are gonna crack.  Could you please change it too “They are not going to lose by more than 39?”  Just to ease the pressure.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Haha, I highly doubt a single one of them sees this headline.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Wow Andrew the Cavaliers sure got your dander up huh?  You sounded more like the people who “go off” on here rather then like the level headed writers who pen or in this case key topics.  Understandable it goes with having a passion and last night the Cavaliers were indeed as bad as you say. 

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I agree. He better not play unless he is 100%. I just hope he is and he can play, but I’m not holding my breath anymore. Pretty sure he’s out tonight.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    Sure it’s embarrassing, but nights like these happen to the best of teams. Only they lose by 20 on those nights. We lose by 40 because we are an awful, awful team. Detroit shot 60%. We shot 34%. I was not surprised in the least that this happened.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    Well, maybe in the least, but you get what I was saying. I expected a better effort, but was not surprised when I did not receive one.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    It’s more than just this one game, though. It’s a repeated pattern, even when mostly healthy. This team goes into these stretches of games where they just don’t shown any effort or energy. I’m sorry, but this doesn’t look like a team who loves playing hard for their coach. There’s an issue there.

  • Lester Hudson

    Hey man, what’s up with this headline?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    As I just said in another response, it’s more than just this one game. Even when they had Kyrie and Gibson and Sessions, this team routinely plays without energy and effort. That’s what is bothering me. This isn’t “just one of those nights”. This is part of a bigger pattern for this team. That’s what is troubling me so much.

  • Donald Sloan

    Yo, this is a whack headline!

  • cmm13

    Damn you Disqus.

    This one is from Donald Sloan, I swear. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/BenCox83 Ben Cox

    But games like this is why I have some concerns with Coach Scott. I like his style and his seemingly ‘no nonsense’ attitude, but well, there seems to be a whole lot of nonsense that goes on.

    I don’t think he should be fired or even on the hot heat, but he’s had some stinkers under his watch. And when you consider that his past teams have gotten sick of him/stopped listening to him, I do wonder about his longterm viability.

    That being said, it’s how he coaches and develops Kyrie Irving, not Donald Sloan, that I care about.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    Have you considered that this might just be a really bad team and that the “good effort” nights are actually the anomalies?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I’m with you Ben. I have a lot of concerns and red flags going off. By no means am I saying he should be fired. Just saying the grace period is over for me. He deserves his share of both credit and criticism for the way this team has played this season. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t know if I’m willing to say there is an issue or not but Scott has lost teams before in his career.  I prefer to think of it as the Cavaliers just aren’t that good but the effort and energy is concerning. 

  • Chucky Brown

    The Cavs are far and away my favorite Cleveland Franchise, and I bleed wine and gold.

    with that said Im having a hard time conjuring up any emotion over this loss. The list of DNP’s combined with one of the more comical starting 5’s ever trotted out by a team temper any type of expectation.

    This season has been an injury filled grind, and most of the remaining rag tag group are NBDL’ers at best. Id imagine there is more ugliness to come as the finish line approaches. If it gets us in the top 3, ill take it and then some

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Excellent point.

  • Yup

    Quite frankly, I think you guys are nuts. Scott is the LAST thing wrong with this team. You are using willful ignorance to pretend like this team is far more talented then it really is. I started a parlor game earlier this season and that is to count the 1st rd picks on the floor for the Cavs at any given time versus the 1st rd picks on the floor for the opposing team. It as ALWAYS been in favor of the opposing team! Every time! I think we are really over-estimating guys like Gee and and Samuels, for instance. Our best player by far played 11 college basketball games! What does that tell you about the talent level of the Cavs? Also, I once heard a super smart player talk bout how the biggest secret to NBA success was every player having a defined role and knowing what that role was. Well, clearly that has been an issue for this team due to injuries and a plethora of inexperienced players. To paraphrase Jay-Z, the Cavs got 99 problems but Scott ain’t one of ‘em…

  • JohnMellor

    Perfect timing.  Well done.

  • JohnMellor

    I bleed my own blood.

  • mgbode

    to add to all the other things, last night’s game was the 4th in 5 days.  tonight’s is the 5th in 6 days.  3 of those games on the road and the 2 home games not in a row (so constant travel).

    this season is a grind and when you add lack of talent + new faces w/o practices, I think it happens.

    I don’t want another stretch where 3 of these happen in a row (like the end of March), but one is destined to crop up from time to time.

  • mgbode

    after the Hudsanity headline, Lester might have this site bookmarked :)

  • mgbode

    bleed wine when you’re thirsty and gold when you’re broke.

  • Dinner

    Andrew, the option of becoming a head coach yourself is still available to you. Why not prove to us that you’re better than coach Byron Scott and lead this team to more wins with the current resources that the team has available to them. Sounds better than writing rants about the Cavs doesn’t it?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Is that option available to me? The Cavaliers never return my calls.

  • Dinner

    Keep trying!!

  • JRS19

    This team sucks.  Really, look down the roster of all players, even those injured and I think you’d see that Kyrie and Andy are the only two that would start for most teams in the league.  Jamison, Gee, and Parker are role players, TT is a project, Boobie gets hurt walking to practice, and the rest of the team is GAR-BAGE.  Everyone is preaching adding picks and getting lucky in the draft and I say go for it, but outside of landing Davis, there really isn’t an impact guy coming out this year.  I’m usually against free agent signings of average players, but I think Gilbert has to sign some NBA caliber talent this off-season in addition to the draft.  There can’t be another season of losses like this.  They at least need to be competitive.  This game was against freakin’ Detroit.  Come on!

  • Jack

    Yup

  • mgbode

    I smell a promotion and WFNY-giveaway.   Random Fan gets to coach the Cavs for a quarter of a meaningless game in April!

    might help the tanking too (saying for any random fan, not directed at you Andrew)

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Haha, no, it’s cool buddy. I make no illusions that I could do a better job than Byron. Or anyone else, for that matter.

  • Memail

    Somehow the 76ers are only 9.5 point favorites over the Cavs. Oh, and last time I checked, the 76ers are better than the Pistons.

  • Steve

    ” I can’t wait for the day when they return to the playoffs and give us fun, rewarding, exciting, meaningful basketball to watch.”

    The fastest way to get to this is to take your lumps like that game now. Yeah, it was as bad as it gets, but it doesn’t actually matter. Go get yourself a great running mate for Kyrie, maybe attract another starter in FA, and suddenly you’ve got a team that can compete. Or you can be like the Pistons, and at least you can beat a D-league team while still missing the playoffs.

  • cmm13

    Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!

  • floydrubino

    I hope we don’t win one more game to maximize our chance to get Anthony Davis. Him and Kyrie instantly give us a chance to do something special. Anthony Davis is the kind of player that can do what Tim Duncan did for San Antonio.

  • floydrubino

    Thank gosh where have you been. I was starting to think I was the only one who noticed what is really going on. Scott isn’t the greatest coach in the world but outside of Kyrie he is the best thing Cleveland has going for them. It’s like you expect this guy to coach terrible talentless players and win games or even be competitive. Outside of Kyrie name a player that starts on a playoff team on our roster

  • porckchopexpress

    If that was an intentional Nelson Muntz quote than big, big, hats off.  If it wasn’t then it is still one of my favorite Nelson quotes