For the most part, the Cavaliers were completely overmatched in their game with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Six feet-two inch Daniel Gibson was stuck trying to defend the six feet-seven inch Joe Johnson for a large majority of the night. And there really wasn’t a whole lot the Cavaliers could do about it.
They tried running the basketball up and down the floor – the way Byron Scott likes to do it. But, the problem is, the Atlanta Hawks are every bit as athletic as our Cavaliers. Their length at seemingly every position, though, is what caused the Cavaliers some problems. When Scott tried to give Gibson a little bit of help and double team Johnson, guys like Mike Bibby stepped up and splashed home open jumpers. It was a lose-lose situation.
What I did like to see, however, was that there was no quit in Scott’s squad. They were out there to compete from the opening tip until the closing buzzer. And, for the most part, the guys played very well. Mo Williams continued his hot streak and notched his eighth 9+ assist performance in his last ten games. Williams handed off 11 dimes in this one while pouring in 18 points. He was great. There’s no two ways about it. He played very well on the defensive end and was an absolute factor on the offensive end. Almost makes me want to bring back the Mo Swag-o-Meter that I introduced last season. A few more nights like tonight and I might have to.
Antawn Jamison continued to be a steady producer for the Cavaliers as well. He was an efficient 10-of-16 from the field in what was a 23 point-seven rebound performance. I feel like I’ve said this one thousand times already but I still think he is taking way too many three pointers. He is settling for those shots as far as I’m concerned. And Daniel Gibson wasn’t nearly as hot as he was the other night but he contributed a steady 12 point effort. He, though, turned the ball over three times – something he doesn’t tend to do very often.
Outside of that, the Cleveland bench was an absolute abomination. Aside from Ramon Sessions scoring seven points in what was still a relatively poor effort, Byron Scott’s bench was awful. Jamario Moon really didn’t play enough to make a difference on either end of the floor. I’ve come to expect less than stellar outings from Jawad Williams. Sessions, like I said, gave a rather poor effort on the defensive end. And good ol’ JJ Hickson was miserable again. The Cavaliers were outscored by 12 in the 14 minutes that Hickson was on the floor. A fourteen minute stretch, mind you, that Hickson managed just four points and three rebounds. I really want to see him shipped elsewhere; the guy is useless. Maybe that is what I’ll ask the jolly fat man for this Christmas.
Regardless, the Cavaliers fell to a disappointing 8-21 mark on the season and are losers of 12 of their last 13 games. They’ll take on Minnesota, a subpar team that kicked our arse a few weeks ago, on the day after Christmas. The schedule doesn’t get any easier from here, Cavs fans. It’s time to get it together.
All together, Cleveland.