The Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Washington Wizards yesterday and, after starting strong, faded late on their way to a 96-83 loss on their home floor. The loss left the Cavaliers five games back of the Brooklyn Nets for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. From my recap:
For three quarters, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards traded runs. For three quarters, the Cavaliers kept the game close despite only shooting 2-12 from deep through three quarters and struggling to get consistent offensive production from anyone not named Spencer Hawes.
But it was in the final quarter that the Cavaliers ultimately lost the game and blew their chance to regain some of the momentum they lost when they lost to theToronto Raptors last Friday. In the final quarter, the Cavaliers were only able to score 11 points as opposed to the Wizards’ 18 and cost themselves some positioning in the crowded bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
As alluded to in the recap, center Spencer Hawes was the best Cavalier on the floor for most of the game. He struggled from deep (as did the rest of the team) but he was aggressive on the boards and was was a strong pick and roll partner for Kyrie Irving. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote in his final thoughts that he thinks that Hawes could be the Cavaliers starting center sooner than later. In his two games as a Cavaliers, Hawes has outplayed Tyler Zeller and provides more for the Cleveland offense. He has his flaws – most notably in his ability (or lack thereof) – to defend the paint.
If you missed the game, you can view the game highlights below.