It's only two games, hardly enough time to sound the alarm, but it was disturbing to hear Byron Scott talk tonight about how the guys didn't come out prepared to match the Bulls' intensity from the start.
It's disturbing because it's what he has said so many times after losses each of the last two seasons. Good teams all too often absolutely crush the Cavs in the first 10-18 minutes, then take the rest of the night off.
There are only two rookies on this team. The rest of these guys, regardless of how young, should be fully aware of how badly the Bulls smashed them three times last season. The Bulls are the veteran team. They should be the ones bored to be facing a below-average Cavs team on the road and the young Cavs should be the ones excited to be playing at home. Instead it was the exact opposite.
The losses could quickly mount on this road trip. It's conceivable the Cavs go 1-5 or even 0-6. If they start as sluggish as they did on Friday, it's going to be a long, bloody trip.
Cavs: Kyrie Irving 15 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers; Anderson Varejao 12 points, 5 rebounds; Alonzo Gee 12 points, 4 rebounds. Bulls: Richard Hamilton 19 points, Carlos Boozer 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists; Nate Robinson 16 points, 12 assiss.
The Cavs lost all three games to the Bulls last season by an average of 30.7 points. They lost this one by 29. Progress?
The Cavs made six shots and the Bulls missed only five in the first quarter. They shot 74 percent, while the Cavs turned it over nine times, and Chicago led 32-16 after the first quarter. It was never close again.
"That's what you call a good old-fashioned butt whooping. Obviously as a young team, we still have a lot to learn. You have to come ready to play from the get-go. I don't think we matched their intensity from the start of the game 'til the end of the game."
The Cavaliers (1-1) travel to the Milwaukee Bucks (1-0) Saturday night.