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Postgame Pindowns: Cavs surrender 17 threes for the 3rd straight game, fall to the Nets 112-107

LeBron James

The Cavaliers travel to Brooklyn to take on one of the most surprising teams in the NBA today. Coming off a win over the Bulls just 24 hours earlier, Cleveland is still searching for its rhythm amidst several changes to the starting lineup. The Nets are without D’angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin, making the Cavs experiment a manageable one, at least we hope. Dwyane Wade will miss Wednesday’s action alongside Derrick Rose. Nevertheless, here are some Pindowns for the Cavs and Nets, thoughts for your thoughts.

  1. Bench continues to be, in complete irony of last season, a major asset for the Cavaliers this season. They’re facing the best bench in the NBA, one that has averaged 50ppg for the Nets thus far this season. However, after just one week, the situations for Cleveland’s starters and Brooklyn’s reserves should even out.
  2. Not surprisingly, the Cavs are struggling without a starting point guard. No Rose, Wade or Thomas has certainly made scoring a task, but what’s becoming more apparent since the Magic loss last week is the void makes defense into a losing battle. Seeing no more than one capable guard on the court is leaving too many bigs on quicker guards. Closeouts aren’t too bad, but the chasing is definitely tiring out some legs. Similar to the Magic and Bulls, the Nets hit many demoralizing, contested shots. Conditioning is a silver lining though.
  3. The offensive upside to the Nets definitely caught the Cavs off guard as they couldn’t seem to handle the pace. Brooklyn was efficient surrendering only four turnovers in the first half compared to Cleveland’s 13.
  4. Jose Calderon received more minutes here after Lue recognized how little the Cavs were able to execute without any point guard. James’ decision-making, while arguably the best in NBA history, is exhausting for a veteran in his 15th season. At least with Calderon there are multiple pick and rolls every possession, but the Cavs uphill battle on defense made cutting and long-range shooting more tumultuous compared to Brooklyn’s aggressive and at times forceful attack.
  5. The Nets took 36 3-balls in three quarters. Cavs have averaged 28 attempts per game this season.
  6. Are these teams just shooting better? No, they’re just taking A LOT against a Cavaliers squad that hasn’t had a chance to create any chemistry for any communication on closeouts. The defensive issues don’t seem to be a personnel issue, more like a situational one.
  7. Jeff Green was useful and efficient tonight. Kyle Korver has continued to show ageless effort on defense and make up for not taking any shots on opening night. 12 threes in the last four games.
  8. With the flip of a switch, and the realization that they were down by double-digits in the fourth to the Brooklyn Nets, the Cavaliers fought through the fatigue and made sure to contest every shot and passing lane to rally.
  9. After a few almost-triple-doubles, James finally secured a full one tonight. 29/13/10.
  10. The game came down to missed free throws for the Nets, but a controversial call that closed out the contest for Brooklyn. Cavs drop to 3-2, looking to stay afloat without guards.
  11. While it’s early and the lack of health and chemistry will certainly get better, it’s definitely concerning that the Magic, Bulls and Nets have all hit 17 threes against the Cavs. Just ask Jason Lloyd how he feels about that.

Matthew Howenstein, ClutchPoints Analyst

The Cavs have three days till they road trip to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans. Hopefully, Derrick Rose will be able to play and take some of the facilitating responsibility.

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