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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Pacers 99, Cavs 89

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 22, 2012
Boobie driving
Daniel Gibson drives past the Pacers' George Hill during the fourth quarter Friday in Cleveland. The Pacers won 99-89. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND: Final thoughts from the Cavs' sixth-straight loss and 17th consecutive loss within the Central Division.

* Kyrie Irving's body language is deteriorating with every loss. He is getting more visible in his frustrations, throwing his arms up in disgust with every turnover and yelling at teammates after defensive breakdowns. "Everybody is frustrated. Everybody has a right to be,” Irving said. “It’s going to come from within from all of us. Stop making excuses because we’re young and go out there and play." 

* There is a fine line between being a team leader and showing up teammates. Daniel Gibson said he has no problem with the way Irving is behaving on the court because he's evolving into the leader he needs to be. But it can be taken the wrong way. "He's starting to step up into more of a leadership role and that's the role he has to grow into," Gibson said. "If it's embarrassing to a guy, no. But if he's telling a guy he needs to do something and he's doing it emphatically like, 'This is where you need to be,' that's a role he has to grow into for this team going forward."

* Irving had six turnovers tonight to continue a disturbing trend. He has had at least three turnovers in every game and he has at least five in three of the Cavs' last five games. With as much as the Cavs are asking of him, certainly turnovers are part of the package. But they're getting out of control. He had a number of sloppy passes tonight and seemed disinterested in the game. It's clear the losing is taking a toll on him. Even Byron Scott thought Irving wasn't engaged the entire night, although he downplayed the turnovers concern. "He has to do a better job of making decisions," Scott said. "But that's probably the least of my worries, to be honest with you."

* If Daniel Gibson and Tyler Hansbrough didn't like each other during the game, when they were assessed double technicals for jawing, they really aren't going to like each other after hearing what each said about the other after the game.

* "He's always doing bulls--- like that," Gibson said. "He's always egging guys on and walking up on them. I was like, 'You gotta calm that s--- down before you get f----- up out here. You've really got to chill. I understand that you're an energy guy, but chill, man.'"

* Hansbrough told the Indianapolis Star's beat writer, Mike Wells, that he Thompson was staring him down and he was ready to fight when "Boobie or Bibby or whatever his name is" stepped in. Hansbrough said he doesn't talk, he was ready to go.

* The problems, of course, stem back to last week's game at Indianapolis when Thompson blasted Ben Hansbrough in the side of the head with an elbow. Tyler thought it was intentional and immediately got in Thompson's face. 

* "He just be out there out of control," Gibson said. "I told the ref, 'How are you going to give me a double tech when he's the one burning up on people and snatching the ball and screaming? Nobody was even saying nothing to him, what is he doing? That's Hansbrough for you."

* Theatrics aside, the Cavs have major problems on both offense and defense right now. The defensive concerns are probably to be expected when Anderson Varejao is missing, but they still gave up entirely too many uncontested shots in the lane. The Pacers were able to drive at will with little to no resistance inside from the Cavs. That has to change. 

* The frustrations are obviously wearing on Byron Scott, too. "I'm not running out of ideas yet, but I'm getting close," Scott said. "As patient as I am, one thing I'm getting more than ever is frustrated."

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