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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Spurs 125, Cavs 90

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 4, 2012

Will this team win another game this season? I'd have to think so, but I'm not sure why I'm so confident based on how this team is playing lately.

They've lost their last seven games by an average of 23 points. They've lost their last two home games by an average of 36 points. Their worst home loss entering the season was 35 points. They've now equaled or surpassed that three times this season. Three times. Incredible.

I joked on Twitter tonight that Luke Walton was the best player on the floor for his team for the first time since Arizona, but it wasn't really a joke. The Cavs are running out rotations of Donald Sloan, Luke Hudson, Manny Harris and Walton -- four guys who haven't been here hardly at all this season. Now they're playing big minutes on a team quickly taking on water.

Coach Byron Scott chastised the effort tonight and rightfully so. The Spurs made 48 baskets tonight and 23 of them were layups. So basically half of their baskets were from 1 foot and in. That's a guaranteed loss every time.

The big picture is that the Cavs got beat routinely on the same pick-and-roll play over and over and over. That has happened far too often this season where a team has success on one play and keeps pounding the Cavs with it again and again and again. Some of that is coaching, but guys sooner or later have to recognize it's coming -- again -- and do something to stop it.

I hate to think what will happen Wednesday at Milwaukee. The Bucks absolutely destroyed the Cavs on the perimeter last week and there's no reason to think Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings won't be able to do it again. The Bucks are fighting for a playoff spot. The Cavs are fighting to stay awake during games.

That brings me back to the first point. Will the Cavs win another game this season? By my count, they have five "winnable" games remaining, unless of course they run into a hanging slider and pull it down the line, i.e. an unsuspecting team has a really, really bad night.

The five remaining games
the Cavs have a chance to win: Sunday at New Jersey (which coincidentally was the site of their last victory on March 19), Tuesday at home against Charlotte, April 14 at Washington, April 17 at Detroit and April 25 at home against Washington.

One thing I learned covering every one of those bloody losses during the 26-game losing streak last season: The deeper you get into it, the harder it is to pull out. That's why I'd recommend beating the Nets on Sunday or the hapless Bobcats on Tuesday. Otherwise ... well, at least the good news is it's impossible for this team to match last year's losing streak. They can only reach 23 losses before they run out of games this season.


Cavs: Kyrie Irving 13 points, 5 assists; Antawn Jamison 15 points; Lester Hudson 12 points. Spurs: Patty Mills 20 points, Danny Green 19 points, Tony Parker 19 points.

Key stat

The Spurs scored 48 baskets and 23 of them were layups.

Turning point

The Spurs scored 16 consecutive points in the first quarter to turn a 16-all tie into a 32-16 lead. The Cavs never recovered.


“I worry more when me as a coach and my coaching staff want it more than my players. That’s when I start to worry. And I’m getting worried." -- Byron Scott

"There is nobody who is going to come through that door in that locker room that's going to help us. It's that simple. If they're looking for somebody to come help them, then we're in trouble." -- Scott

"I've got to be positive for these guys. After the Milwaukee loss I don’t think anybody recognized who I was. I have to understand that guys were looking at me. It's supposed to hurt. After games you come in here to guys talking and laughter is disappointing, but that’s when you have to change the culture and let them know it’s unacceptable. We just aren’t going to accept not just losing, but getting our (butts) kicked. That comes with being patient and leading by example." -- Antawn Jamison

"What it boils down to right now is our effort starting out the game and continuing that effort throughout the game. I feel sometimes we start off games well, then teams get their runs at the end of the first quarter, we get down in the hole and we can’t get out of it." -- Kyrie Irving

Up next

The Cavs (17-34) travel to face the Milwaukee Bucks (25-28) on Wednesday.


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