MILWAUKEE: Nine thoughts following an embarrassing 119-116 loss to the woeful Bucks…
1. Part of learning to be a professional is learning how to show up for work when no one is watching and there’s little motivation remaining. The Cavs did a terrible job of this Friday.
2. Mike Brown spoke Friday morning about respecting the game and respecting the opponent. The Cavs did neither against an awful, awful Bucks basketball team. They surrendered 58 points in the paint, allowed the Bucks to shoot 52 percent and made Chris Wright, he of the 10-day contract fame, look like a star. Wright had 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including a couple power dunks through a non-existent Cavs defense.
3. The Bucks drove over, around and through the Cavs’ defense. I’ve said for weeks post defense is a huge weakness on this team and must improve this offseason. That was evident again Friday, but the perimeter defense was (and has been) just as awful. It’s quite impressive the Cavs have climbed as high as they have in team defensive rankings this season because they don’t have very many good individual defenders. In fact, outside of Luol Deng, I’m not sure they have any.
4. “It’s a bit of an attention grabber,” Jack said of losing to the bumbling Bucks. “Us just being able to end this thing on the right foot should be everybody’s mindset.”
5. But is it?
6. After recording 41 assists on 53 baskets in Wednesday’s win against the Detroit Pistons, the Cavs only had 18 assists Friday on 42 baskets. Brown wasn’t impressed with his team scoring 116 points. I’m guessing that had something to do with it.
7. This game felt a lot like the first loss in this building this season when the Cavs had sort of a “screw it, we’ll just outscore them” attitude. It didn’t work out so well then and it didn’t again now.
8. The Cavs joined rare (and unwanted company). The only teams to lose twice to the Bucks this season are the Magic, Celtics, Lakers and 76ers. And now the Cavs. Do the math. That’s 10 of their 15 wins this season. The Cavs and Magic are the only teams to lose twice in this building.
9. They’ll try again Saturday on the second of a back-to-back in what will be Boston’s one and only visit to the Q this season. I’m taking the night off, so I’ll talk to you Wednesday after the season finale against the Nets.