If there is one good thing that I can say about this team, it’s that they’ve got a lot of heart. They don’t play all that well but they keep themselves in game by getting to loose rebounds, hustling to 50/50 balls and making smart decisions with the basketball. I can respect that. And I believe that attitude is due in large part to the type of coach Byron Scott is.
But he, too, seems to be getting more and more frustrated as the year goes on. He expected a lot more from this team. Just as I did. Maybe we were just being optimistic and did not want to believe our team was going to be pitiful after two consecutive years of having the best player in the league. LeBron James was not the Cleveland Cavaliers. But he certainly didn’t hurt anything.
The Cavaliers played right with the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, down only three points heading into the final quarter. They spent most of the night on Wednesday getting stoot-slapped by their former coach, Paul Silas, but pulled within four points in the closing minutes of the fourth. But they cannot seem to figure out how to defend the three pointer. Orlando hit 19 on Tuesday and Charlotte nailed 9 more on Wednesday.
That isn’t unusual for the Cavaliers this season. They pack their defense into the paint and are seemingly daring their opponent to take long range jump shots. Which is great. But they’re daring some pretty good shooters to shoot the basketball from out there without even contesting. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
And, of course, it doesn’t help that both of the Cavaliers starting guards are now out with injuries. Mo Williams suffered a left hip flexor strain against the Magic and Daniel Gibson left Wednesday night’s contest with a thigh contusion. Both are considered day-to-day but that leaves Ramon Sessions all alone to bring up the ball for the Cavaliers. Unless, of course, you count Manny Harris.
Alonzo Gee looked rather sharp last night. In his first game with the Cavaliers, Gee recorded nine rebounds and was the only Cavaliers to post a positive efficiency rating in his 27 minutes of work. Solid job for the new guy. He is going to wind up taking over Ryan Hollins’s responsibilities off the bench if Hollins doesn’t watch out. Hollins played so well, in my opinion, at the beginning of the season but has drastically declined since then.
And, lastly, Anderson Varejao is an absolute monster. There isn’t another person on the Cavaliers’ roster that I like watching more than Varejao. The guy obviously cares about winning and will do anything to get his team a victory. From diving into the stands to taking charges and snagging rebounds, Anderson Varejao is playing like one of the best centers in the league right now. It would be an absolute shame if he didn’t get a bid to the All-Star game this season. He is definitely worthy of such a reward.
Chances are I will not be talking to ya’ll before the new year. I’m headed out to New Orleans with my family to see the Buckeyes take down Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
Happy New Year, everybody!