DALLAS: Ten thoughts tonight following a 124-107 loss to the Dallas Mavericks…
1. I don’t have much left after this ridiculous road trip and I have a flight in five hours. This will be brief.
2. The defense was woeful again, and Mike Brown was particularly irritated with the pick-and-roll defense. The Mavericks shot 55 percent for the game and outrebounded the Cavs 45-31.
3. It’s inexcusable for this Cavs team to get outrebounded by 14 against a Mavs team that entered as the third-worst in the league in rebounding. Dirk Nowitzki and Samuel Dalembert each had eight. That’s to be expected. But Vince Carter and Brandan Wright each had seven. That’s what really hurt them.
4. Dion Waiters’ body language tonight was terrible. His play wasn’t much better. It’s why Brown went away from him after about 11 minutes. He went scoreless, took only four shots and committed a pair of fouls. “That was my call. I thought defensively there were some things on the back side he wasn’t quite aware of,” Brown said. “Then when Jack got out there, Jack was playing well. Even C.J. played fairly well, so it took away from Dion’s minutes.”
5. The Cavs’ interior defense has been terrible all season and the numbers show it. Opponents are shooting better than 62 percent within 5 feet of the basket. Only the Kings and Timberwolves give up more baskets around the rim. From 5-9 feet it’s about 42 percent, tied for the fifth-highest in the league. Then the percentages become a bit more respectable. But around the basket, the Cavs’ defense has not been very good.
6. The Cavs are 16-32. At this point last season, they were 14-34. Two years ago they were 17-31.
7. I just spent a few minutes scrolling through Dan Gilbert’s mentions on Twitter. No wonder he has avoided social media. After what I just saw, I would, too.
8. If there is a bright side, the Cavs played hard the whole game. These days, that counts as a bright side.
9. “It’s like we’re fighting, but you keep pushing that car uphill,” Jack said. “You feel like you’re stuck in the mud. But I still thought we fought for the most part.”
10. Was talking to someone tonight after the game and said, “Well they better beat the Lakers.” The response was, “or what?” Hmmph. Good point. The season, right now, is circling the drain. Talk to you Wednesday from the Q.