April 19, 2014

Cavs offense comes back to reality: Behind the Box Score

After squeaking out an ugly win on Friday against one of the league’s worst team in the Bucks, the Cavaliers failed to show up at the United Center on Saturday, losing to the Bulls 100-84. The Bulls were without several key players thanks to injury, including Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, and Luol Deng in addition to star Derek Rose who is out for the year, but in the end still had plenty to get past the Cavs. Chicago jumped out to an early lead, scoring 33 points in the first quarter which was followed up by another 27 in the second, giving Chicago a 17 point lead at the break.  The Cavs cut the lead to single digits briefly, but never really threatened Chicago’s coast to coast lead.

cavs jack7 - The closest the Cavaliers would come to Chicago in the second half. They managed to claw back into the game thanks to a two minute stretch involving 8 straight combined points scored by Jarret Jack and Andrew Bynum.  At that point Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau called timeout which managed to kill all positive momentum the Cavs had created. Out of the timeout the Bulls would score on four out five of their next possessions, stretching the lead back to 16.

-17 – While Kyrie Irving was on the court Chicago outscored the Cavs by 17 points. On paper last night’s game appeared to be a promising match up for the Cavs’ superstar. No Derek Rose, no Kirk Hinrich, but it didn’t seem to matter Irving and the starters were embarrassed in the United Center. Kyrie managed just 5 assists and was a horrid 5-16 from the floor against D.J. Augustin.

18 - The number of rebounds Joakim Noah terrorized the Cavs for on the glass. While Noah and Varejao often draw comparisons thanks to their maniac styles and striking appearance to the band LMFAO, Noah was a class above Varejao on Saturday. The pesky Noah was relentless, earning the bulls 5 extra possessions, including a key offensive rebound late in the third quarter that led to a Tony Snell 3-pointer which brought the trimmed Bulls’ lead from 10 to 13. Varejao managed just 6 points and 6 rebounds in his 22 minutes and was a miserable -22 while on the court compared to the +20 of Noah.

2 - This was just the second game in the last six in which Andrew Bynum scored in double figures. While the big fella has had some struggles recently, including an awful 3-14 night from the field against Milwaukee, the 7 footer found his touch last night. Bynum scored 19 points on 9-15 shooting to go with his 7 rebounds. Bynum had success in the paint, but found his stroke from mid range as well, going 4-4 on shots from above the free throw line. Although Bynum was shooting well he continued to be black hole at time with ball. Once the ball goes inside to Bynum it’s most likely not coming back out to the perimeter, regardless whether he has good positioning or not.

DNP - Dion Waiters missed his second straight game in due to his sore wrist, leaving the shaky Cavs offense one gun shy once again. Bynum played well, but Kyrie was off on Saturday which left the Cavs offense without anyone else to play make from the perimeter. The wing trio of Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark, and C.J. Miles managed just 6 points on 2-9 shooting. Jarret Jack apparently had some of what Kyrie had before the game, chucking his way to a 4-13 shooting night. On a night where everyone but Bynum struggled the Cavs certainly could have used the aggressiveness of Dion Waiters on the offensive end.

Photo: AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles

  • kipsmudilike

    Mike Brown needs to use the 3 guard set of Irving, Jack, Dellavedova with Varejao and Bynum a lot more. It allows Kyrie to be the natural scorer that he is, forces Jack to play unselfishly, Delly is allowed to set screens and annoy, Varejao is only relied on for rebounds and screens, and Bynum is allowed to play in the post and attract double teams.

  • Dave

    No way the cavs were going to win last night. OT win with Kyrie still looking sluggish versus an active team with a nudge like Noah. In the 3rd quarter when we almost whitewashed, the team was clearly interested in getting out of there without an injury and not a win.

  • Byron Scott

    This team is still bad as long as they can play teams like Milwaukee they are okay.