Byron Scott has already identified one major problem. Now he has three days to try and fix it.
The Cavs have been outscored in the third quarter in each of their first three games this season. Boston started quickly in the second half and built a double-digit lead before the Cavs fought back. In the last two games against Toronto and Sacramento, the Cavs stopped fighting.
The Raptors outscored the Cavs 31-17 in the third quarter of a game that quickly became a rout. The Kings outscored the Cavs 31-15 in the third quarter Saturday to turn a 16-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
"So far, the third quarter has been terrible for us," Scott said. "I thought we took a big exhale instead of coming out with the other attitude of going up by 20. That's something we have to continue to work on."
One of Scott's biggest gripes with the Cavs right now is that they're not trusting each other on defense. Guys are too worried about staying with their man instead of rotating like they're being asked. That causes situations like Saturday, when Omri Casspi nails 6 of 7 3-pointers and the Kings make nine 3s as a team.
It seems like a collapse on one side of the ball triggers trouble on the other side. I'm not sure which happened first, the defensive breakdowns or the stalling on offense. But both were big problems. The Kings put their hands up on defense in the second half and became more active, stepping into passing lanes and slowing the Cavs' movement.
For as well as Ramon Sessions has played -- and aside from a disastrous shooting night against Toronto, he has done quite well -- Scott was thrilled with the type of pace the Cavs played with in their preseason game against Philadelphia. It's the only appearance Mo Williams has made thus far, and it's no coincidence that's when the Cavs have looked their best.
Scott can only hope Williams' return Tuesday will spark an offense that has been dragging for two games now. The bigger problem, at least presently, is figuring out what's happening in the third quarter and finding a way to fix it.
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