Raptors 101, Cavs 91
So who do the Cavs miss most? Delonte West or former assistant Jon Kuester? Considering they're having problems on both sides of the ball right now, the short answer might ''both.''
Defensively speakign the Cavs let the Toronto Raptors have their way with them the entire first half, going into the locker room down 57-39. The shot just 31 percent in the first half and it didn't get much better in the second. They finished the game shooting just 35 percent.
Mike Brown was succint in his appraisal of what's going on the defensive side of the ball:
We go through stretches defensively right now, where the effort isn’t there. Even if coverage breaks down the effort can be there.
The one key moment when the effort was there, the Cavs enjoyed some success, coming back from that 18 point halftime deficit to tie the game at 69. For much of the third quarter, they held the Raptors at bay. It didn' t last as Toronto went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter.
Brown says the effort wasn't there. Players say it's a matter of gelling. Right now, it's probably a bit of both. But they also have to be missing West right now. Other than James, he's the most complete player on the team.
As for the offense: ditto Kuester. When the team racked up those high scores and long winning streaks last year, they did so courtesy of, yes, their defense but some high-flying offense by Kuester. Right now, it's difficult to see which direction they're headin there.
Cavs vs. Raptors
TV: FSOhio. Radio; WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G). Raptors: Hedo Turkoglu (F); Chris Bosh (F); Andrea Bargnani; DeMar DeRozen; Jose Calderon (G).
Injured and inactive:
Cavs: Delonte West; Leon Powe, Daniel Green. Raptors: Sonny Weems; Reggie Evans; Quincy Douby.
Greg Willard; Sean Corbin; Tommy Nunez Jr.
Cavs have lost one. This is the season opener for the Raptors.
Things to look for:
The Cavs need to rebound from a weak offensive performance Tuesday night. Last night's game was the first of the season, but that doesn't excuse the fact taht overall it lacked consistency.
Ditto the defense. They started out gangbusters, but quickly faded. While they protected the paint, the exterior defense allowed unchallenged, wide-open threes.