For the first time in six years, the Cavs aren't going to the playoffs this season.
That historic 26-game losing streak sort of removed all doubt about that, but it's official now. After finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference each of the last two seasons, they're the first team eliminated in the East this season. It's been a fast, painful fall over the last 4 1/2 months.
The reasons why are obvious and not worth rehashing. But what really ails the Cavs right now was evident in Thursday's 111-70 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. They can't seem to stay focused long enough to execute a defensive game plan and they surely can't play hard for 48 minutes in consecutive games.
At least they haven't in a really, really long time.
In Sunday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cavs schemed for two days to double Kevin Durant every time he touched the ball. They were never able to do it in the game, forcing Scott to change his defensive approach in the middle of the game.
Thursday against the Blazers, it happened again. Without giving specifics, Scott said the Cavs had failed to follow the defensive plan just four minutes into the game. In both instances, it was the starters failing to do what was asked.
"That makes me question where we are head-wise," Scott said after the 20-point loss to the Thunder.
"Guys didn't have any focus on what we were doing," he said Thursday.
New day, same message.
Fifteen games to go.
Ramon Sessions 14 points
Daniel Gibson 12 points
Manny Harris 10 points, three assists
J.J. Hickson five points, seven rebounds
Samardo Samuels seven points, 1-8 shooting
LaMarcus Aldridge 20 points, 11 rebounds
Gerald Wallace 17 points
Nicolas Batum 14 points
Wes Matthews 14 points
The Blazers scored 22 consecutive points in the first quarter to take a 24-2 lead and make the final 40 minutes irrelevant.
The Cavs did not get an assist from any of their point guards. They had just one assist from a starter (Samardo Samuels).
They said it
"We were on our heels the whole night. Guys didn't have any focus on what we were doing. It trickled down from one guy to the last guy and we got exactly what we deserved.''
The Cavs (13-54) play at the Los Angeles Clippers (38-29) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.