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DETROIT: Final thoughts from the Cavs' second-straight loss...
* Daniel Gibson put up a good front after the game, talking about how Dion Waiters’ absence just creates an opportunity for someone else. That’s all well and good, but at some point the talent drop from point A to point B is pretty severe. The Cavs have reached that point.
* It’s not just the production that both Kyrie Irving and Waiters provide. Yes, they’re the top two leading scorers and combine for 38 of the Cavs’ 97 points. But it’s the way they set up everyone else that was evident in Monday’s loss.
* Yes, Waiters takes too many jumpers. But he and Irving still excel at getting into the lane and forcing defenses to make a choice. When defenses collapse, they almost always find the open man. Those open looks weren’t as abundant tonight.
* There was one stretch in the fourth quarter that went air ball, charge, air ball, travel. It was that kind of night, and it will only get worse against the Bulls on Wednesday if Waiters isn’t back.
* Funny pregame story from Byron Scott. Jeremy Pargo owes him 20 pushups because Scott beat him in a shooting contest. Afterwards, Scott told Pargo to go watch some old NBA tapes of Scott’s shooting performances. “I used to do this for a living,” Scott said.
* He has beaten most everyone on the roster, including Irving, in his shooting contests – although Irving and a few other players have also gotten him. He said the only player he ever coached he couldn’t beat was Peja Stojakovic. In one game of around the world against Stojakovic, with five shots from five spots around the 3-point line, Stojakovic spotted Scott five shots. Byron was allowed five shots from each spot, while Peja was only took four. Scott went 17 of 25 … Stojakovic went 18 of 20. He made his last 12 shots to win it.
* Was interesting to hear Donald Sloan say he had no idea he lost his spot in the rotation in part because Scott wasn’t happy with his defense. It was equally interesting to hear Scott say he’s been pleased with Sloan’s improved effort on the defensive end the last few days, while Sloan didn’t think he was doing anything differently. Sounds like they need a little more communication in the locker room.
* Tyler Zeller is sporting a closer haircut. I thought maybe it was to get the hair out of his mask, but he said no, he just couldn’t find anywhere to get it cut. C.J. Miles had a similar problem a few weeks ago. Zeller said he’ll have to wear the mask for another couple of weeks.