“I think we saw one of the most underrated, unsung teams in the NBA tonight.”
That was the comment from FOX Sports Ohio’s Jeff Phelps after the Cavaliers’ tough 105-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. Head coach Byron Scott certainly was not as eloquent or long-winded after the contest, which snapped an 10-game losing streak by the Clippers (43-18) at Quicken Loans Arena.
After a hot burst from Dion Waiters in the mid-third quarter brought the Cavs (20-39) within three at 62-59, it was all Clippers from there. And, there even were some decent moments from former Clevelander Ryan Hollins (while it was mostly the Jamal Crawford show). But it was a tough final 17:48 for Cavs fans.
Overall, like the ckise Heat game last week but certainly not as dramatic, it’s hard to take away too many negatives from this loss. This was the 5th game in 7 days for an improving yet still very young Cavaliers team. This is a tough stretch in the schedule — even if they’re lucky to at least have five straight at home, through next Friday, March 8.
All one can hope is that the late-game collapse doesn’t become a typical trend and that the team can remain competitive against closer opponents. The Clippers, although still maybe underrated on the national radar despite ironically being in LA, remain one of the five best teams in the league. The Cavs, on a good day, on leaning toward mediocrity. They’re just going to lose these games, for now, more often than not — especially with Kyrie Irving still being out.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS — 43-18 (won last 4)
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS — 20-39 (lost last 1)
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.