A few hours after the Wizards were criticized for their problematic offense they go ahead and beat up the Cleveland Cavaliers, with John Wall answering critics, their own version of going small working and LeBron James not really getting any help.
Wall scored 35 points to go with 10 assists and 5 steals as the Wizards looked like the more physical, better team from the first minute of the game. Wall was everywhere on the floor, and although his team struggled rebounding once again (something Gortat has warned about since moving to a 4 perimeter players, one big guy lineup), the defense, ability to force turnovers and easy points made the rebounding thing less important than usual.
James scored 24 points for the Cavaliers on 8-of-20 from the field. Bad, you think? The entire team shot just 33.7% from the field. Without James it’s 31.7% and in short, an awful appearance. Timofey Mozgov kept picking up fouls (four in nine minutes) and didn’t score. J.R. Smith, like Bradley Beal, couldn’t stop missing. Kevin Love couldn’t hit shot and didn’t look good under the basket as well. The Cavaliers looked tired, and couldn’t wait to get this thing over with, knowing from the first moment that it’s simply not going to be their day.
These games happen, even to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This might lead to another LeBron James rant about the focus and desire he and his teammates are lacking. But while injuries and fatigue should never be an excuse, the Cavs are playing without one of the best point guards in the NBA and a very important 3 & D player who played a big part in making the NBA finals last season. Looking bad while losing is always something to worry about, but if it’s a one time thing (the 13-5 Cavaliers haven’t looked this bad in other losses) maybe for once, you can let it slide.