July 28, 2014

Box Score: Wizards 84 Cavaliers 94

It was less than a year ago when Kyrie Irving made his forgettable Cavalier debut. Tonight, we saw what a difference experience and confidence made for Kyrie as the Cavaliers survived a Wizards 4th quarter run to come away with a big opening night win.

Dion Waiters had a stellar debut, making Cavs fans forget about most of their preseason worries. Waiters finished with 17 points. Kyrie played like the blossoming young superstar that he is, leading all scorers with 29 points. But the story of this game was Anderson Varejao, playing his first Cavaliers game since his season ending injury. Andy more than made up for lost time finishing with 9 points, 23 rebounds (12 of them offensive), 9 assists, and 2 blocks.

Sure, this is a depleted Wizards team and without John Wall and Nene to counter Kyrie and Andy, a Cavalier win was to be expected. But never the less, the Cavaliers took care of their business, and they showcased a style of basketball that was just fun to watch (early parts of the 4th quarter not withstanding). The Cavaliers will host the Bulls on Friday before embarking on their first extended road trip of the season.

Washington

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
A.J. Price G 29:24 2-13 2-9 1-1 -11 1 2 6 1 0 0 1 1 7
B. Beal G 21:33 2-8 2-4 2-2 -16 0 3 3 2 1 0 0 1 8
E. Okafor C 24:35 4-10 0-0 2-4 -5 5 7 0 1 0 4 0 1 10
T. Ariza F 24:35 3-8 2-4 1-2 -9 1 3 4 0 3 2 0 0 9
T. Booker F 16:45 2-9 0-1 0-0 -15 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 4 4
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 32-90 8-32 12-20 18 39 26 12 11 10 5 19 84
Percentages .356 .250 .600 Team Rebounds: 10
J. Crawford 28:42 4-13 0-6 3-4 0 1 3 5 1 1 1 1 1 11
M. Webster 23:25 4-6 1-3 0-0 -1 0 3 1 0 2 0 0 1 9
J. Vesely 21:14 3-4 0-0 1-4 -2 3 4 1 1 0 1 1 3 7
C. Singleton 17:11 2-7 0-1 0-0 +1 2 4 2 1 2 0 1 2 4
J. Pargo 16:21 2-6 1-4 2-2 +7 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 3 7
E. Barron 16:15 4-6 0-0 0-1 +1 4 8 0 0 1 1 0 2 8
N. Hilario DNP – Inactive
C. Martin DNP – Coach’s Decision
K. Seraphin DNP – Inactive
J. Wall DNP – Inactive

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 34:34 11-20 3-6 4-5 +23 0 6 3 4 0 1 1 4 29
D. Waiters G 28:14 6-14 2-5 3-4 +13 0 2 0 3 3 0 2 0 17
A. Varejao C 37:22 3-7 0-0 3-3 +7 12 23 9 1 0 2 1 4 9
A. Gee F 33:53 2-9 0-2 0-0 +14 2 3 2 3 2 0 3 5 4
T. Thompson F 31:31 5-8 0-0 2-4 +20 3 10 5 2 1 0 2 2 12
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 36-79 7-20 15-22 18 54 22 20 7 5 10 21 94
Percentages .456 .350 .682 Team Rebounds: 13
C.J. Miles 17:42 1-5 0-1 0-0 +2 0 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 2
D. Gibson 16:11 3-5 2-4 2-4 -9 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 10
T. Zeller 14:53 2-4 0-0 1-2 +4 0 2 0 0 1 1 1 2 5
D. Sloan 13:26 2-5 0-1 0-0 -13 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 4
L. Walton 12:14 1-2 0-1 0-0 -11 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
O. Casspi DNP – Coach’s Decision
L. Harangody DNP – Inactive
J. Leuer DNP – Coach’s Decision
J. Pargo DNP – Inactive
S. Samuels DNP – Coach’s Decision
  • thenoclist

    That went about as well as it possibly could have. Kyrie is awesome. Waiters is awesome. Andy and Tristan are beasts.

    However, Gee is godawful and the second unit is atrocious. Scott needs to stop being a stickler about rotations and minutes. Over the first 6:00 of the 4th a 12 point lead was completely erased until the starters were finally subbed back in. How bout we stop the bleeding earlier next time? Perhaps a timeout to kill the momentum? Poor job by him. The starters need to play more minutes, Luke Walton needs to never play, the rotations need staggered a bit more, get Leuer and Samardo a few minutes. No Casspi = good move. Let’s keep it that way.

    That was a blast to watch.

  • Steve

    With a tough road trip coming up right away, I’m sure Scott wanted to do everything he could to keep from relying on his starters for close to 40 minutes. He got them back in with enough time remaining to take back control of the game. I hate nitpicking rotations, but especially so after just one game.

    Also, Varejao didn’t just rebound well, but he played much better defense than I expected, even if he was matched up against probably the worst front line in the league until Nene comes back. Solid work from a young team, and if they can play defense like this, they might actually have a shot at the playoffs.

  • Dave

    Who says rebounding doesn’t matter? The key stat line for me: Anderson Varejao – 23 rebounds, 12 offensive. Entire Wizards starting lineup – 16 rebounds, 8 offensive.

  • AlexMathews

    There were several things to like about this game…the defense was not really of them. It just looked extremely sloppy defensively, and it’s not gonna fly as well against a playoff-bound team.

  • mgbode

    haven’t watched it yet, but someone please explain how Walton gets 12min while Samuels gets 0.

  • AlexMathews

    Anderson Varejao should get some kind of award, in a category designed specifically for him, because he certainly deserves it. His contributions don’t always show up in the box score (although tonight it certainly did), but his value to the team is immeasurable. The Cavs play with such incredible energy any time he’s on the floor, and it’s so infectious with the young players.

  • AlexMathews

    You’re in for a treat. All the important guys played as well as you could have hoped for (save Gee).

    But yes, I think everyone, including Walton himself, was surprised that he got playing time. Scott said postgame it was kind of a spur of the moment decision as he’s still figuring out his rotations.

  • Steve

    Sure, there’s a vast difference between a Wall and Nene-less Wizards and a legit playoff team. But good defenses hold that team to 36% shooting and whoop them on the glass (both ends o the court) like the Cavs just did. You’re not going to do much better than that.

  • 5KMD

    Nene’s last name is Hilario? I don’t think I knew that before reading the boxscore.

  • mgbode

    You did not lie. That felt like a twenty point win.I can help with that rotation though Samuel is better than Walton.

  • JK

    Be a little realistic.. It’s an 82 game season, the starters can’t play the majority of the game this early and expect to have anything left in the tank later on. Coach Scott did exactly what he should have done by letting the 2nd unit try to work though it, then he did the right thing by calling for the subs the moment they went down.

  • DontbringLBJback

    He’s been going by just “Nene” for about 5 years now.

  • DontbringLBJback

    I love the winners and losers column for the Browns, so I’m going to pretend here:

    Winner: Kyrie. Don’t think I even need to say why or how. The kids is amazing.

    Winner: Dion Waiters. Wow. I don’t know what happened between pre-season and last night, but the kid had a whole different intensity, floor presence, and defensive attitude. He totally outplayed Bradley Beal, which was nice to see. I’m finally excited about this kid, and it was game one.

    Winner: Andy. Again… wow. It is so nice to have him on the floor. Stay healthy, Andy… PLEASE!

    Loser: Alonzo Gee. He looked lost. He didn’t take good outside shots. His drives to the bucket where mostly against 2-3 defenders. I think teams have him figured out… just like we have. He drives to the hoop, and gets blocked half the time. He needs to drive and dish when the D collapses on him.

    Loser: Samuels. Only because he didn’t play. Don’t know if he’s in Scott’s doghouse or what, but the kid looked so good in pre-season. I just don’t get that.

    Loser: Byron Scott. I understand you gotta get the starters plenty of rest. It’s a long season. But all 5 starters out for roughly 15 minutes of this game, and most notably the first 5 minutes of the 4th? If this game isn’t at home, I think the guys are a bit more rattled, and maybe don’t come back and win this one.

    Winner: CJ Miles. He was terrible…1-5 shooting. But my bet is that he’s in the starting line up replacing Gee within the next 5-6 games. Gee is better coming off the bench playing against the 2nd team. I think Gee will have a better chance to make an impact against other teams backups.

    Winner: Boobie. He’s baaaaaaaaaaaack! Nice to see him healthy and draining the 3 “From deep in the Q!!!!!”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think you’ve got to put either Luke Walton as a loser or better yet, Byron Scott for playing Luke Walton. What the heck? Did yesterday’s game really call for a point-forward with our second unit? He played poorly and was no help when the Cavs gave up their big lead early in the 4th. I can’t help but think that Chris Grant might have asked Scott to play him to try to boost his trade value or something… Jon Leuer or Slimardo (patent-pending) should have been in the game instead.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    How big was that Waiters three-pointer to stop the bleeding when the starters came back into the game in the 4th quarter? I recognize that he’s not always going to have games like yesterday, but he sure seemed to have a sense of the moment there. I think he really wanted to show up Beal in that game, and he did exactly that.

  • thenoclist

    I agree, it was fantastic. I Really like what I saw from Waiters after a disappointing preseason.

  • thenoclist

    Hey, if you’re fine with a team like the Washington Wizards sucking all the momentum out of an arena and going on a 14-0 run then so be it. You can’t leave a second unit out there with zero scorers for 6 full minutes no matter how early it is in the season or how bad the opponent is.

  • thenoclist

    Byron Scott was atrocious last night with his rotations, I love him as a coach but that was a bad performance.

  • 5KMD

    Yeah, that was kind of my point. But everyone has done a great job respecting his wish as I didn’t even know that was his last name.

  • JK

    It’s the NBA regular season.. teams make runs. You want your starters to play 90% of the game? You’ll have a fun team to watch for about a month. If this team is going to go where we want them to we’re gonna need a bench. You say “a team like the Washington Wizards..” like we’re so much better than them. We got a very young team on our hands who can be beat by anyone especially in the NBA regular season crap shoot.

  • thenoclist

    Yikes, we better have a better team than the Washington Wizards without their 2 best players. Yes, teams make runs but a John Wall-less Wizards should never take the lead in a game where they were dominated for 3 quarters.

  • porckchopexpress

    Hey if you are fine with running your starters into the ground by adding 3-4 minutes a night rather than giving them rest and allowing them to come back in and take back a lead then so be it. Everyone knew the starters could retake the lead against the depleted Wizards, but who cares? Lets run those starters into the ground, can’t wait to see how they play 5 months from now when there are still 30 games to go and they are completely gassed. And hey, who wants to use an opportunity like this to allow the 2nd team to take some lumps and maybe figure some things out for themselve? Naw, lets grind our starters down right now, certainly don’t need them fresh for the 6 game road swing they are embarking on.

  • mgbode

    i would argue it doesn’t have zero scorers but that it has zero distributors.

    this is why I want Sloan on the inactive list and insert Pargo as the backup PG. Pargo has vast deficiencies, but he can at least run the offense and get the ball to Zeller and CJ Miles in spots for them to score. Couple that with Samuels on the offensive glass (especially last night when the Wiz were begging us to take it) and I think we would have had a much better output from that unit last night.

    I agree though that if the 2nd unit is giving up a huge run, then something needs to be done to stop it. Taking out Sloan and Walton is always a good start to that.

  • DontbringLBJback

    Totally agree… but ya know, I actually thought Walton was far better than last year when he just ran up and down the court and looked for cute blonde’s in the bleachers. That was his best game as a Cav… and he still gets a D as an overall grade.

  • thenoclist

    Yes, 37 minutes instead of 34 for a 20 year old Kyrie Irving is going to have a giant impact on the season.

  • Steve

    Sure, if we knew this was going to be a one night occurrence, we could go for it. But the Wizards at home is not a playoff game. You can’t have that 3-4 extra minutes coming around every night.