The Cavs are doing their best to put up a good front, remain united and stay positive. But Antawn Jamison said a couple of weeks ago that if the Cavs don't pull it together quickly, the season could be lost by Christmas.
Christmas is a week away and the Cavs are staring at lumps of coal.
Here's the truth: They aren't good enough to rally back from big deficits, they aren't good enough offensively to go more than a couple trips without scoring because they aren't good enough defensively to hold teams back. Other than that, everything is terrific.
The Cavs played terrific defense in the first quarter, then the Pacers got loose for 65 points in the second and third quarters and that was the that. The Cavs don't have the offensive firepower to get in a shootout with anyone, let alone a team as long and athletic as the Pacers.
This is the problem with starting Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson together: Teams like the Pacers and Heat can put a longer defender on Gibson without consequence. Danny Granger handled Gibson tonight, leaving the Pacers guards to pick up Anthony Parker, who is a shooting guard by nature. Parker had a good night, but Gibson is the team's best perimeter shooter now and will struggle to shoot over guys six inches taller than him.
But the Cavs don't have any better alternatives, so Scott will continue to start Williams and Gibson together in the backcourt.
Sooner or later, the Cavs will win again. The law of averages demands it. But at 7-19, suddenly even a 30-win season seems in jeopardy. The Cavs would have to go 23-33 the rest of the way just to reach 30 wins. And since they're 2-14 over their last 16, that seems questionable at best.
Mo Williams 22 points, 11 assists
Anthony Parker 17 points, 4 of 7 3-pointers
Antawn Jamison 17 points, 7 of 19 shooting
Daniel Gibson 4 points, 1 of 7 shooting
PacersDanny Granger 30 points, 12 rebounds
Brandon Rush 15 points, seven rebounds
The Cavs were still within reach trailing 86-77 early in the fourth when the Pacers went on a 10-2 run. Danny Granger and Brandon Rush hit 3-pointers during the run to extend the lead to 17 with 8:21 left. The Cavs never threatened again.
Daniel Gibson was 1 for 7 for the game, didn't attempt a 3-pointer and didn't score his first basket until less than four minutes left in the game. The Cavs can't win when Gibson doesn't score.
They said it
"We don't have the equipment right now to get ourselves down and come back. We're playing so hard, and with our rotation being cut short, it's hard for those guys to keep playing 35-38 minutes and I know that. But it also gives us our best chance to win basketball games. It's a fine line." -- Byron Scott
Knicks at Cavs, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Quicken Loans Arena