For the second time this month the Cleveland Cavaliers get blown out at home, this time by the Detroit Pistons, as LeBron James put on one of his worst performances in recent years while the absences of Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao proved to be way too much for their teammates to handle, and things might not get better for a while.
James shot 5-of-19 from the field and turned the ball over seven times as the Cavs were routed 103-80 with the Pistons realizing that life without Josh Smith is pretty good, winning twice since releasing the power forward. They went on a 73-31 run to finish the game after a red hot start by the Cavaliers, knocking down 17 3-pointers in the process, as the Cavaliers defense and eventual apathy when things go bad continues to show up from time to time.
Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, Andre Drummond was unbeatable in the paint with 17 rebounds and 5 blocks not to mention his eight offensive rebounds, as the combination of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson which worked quite well so far this season failed to defend the rim. Not getting any help from the guards as Matthew Dellavedova turned out to be very bad on both ends of the floor and both he and Mike Miller brought zero help when it came to rebounding wasn’t beneficial either.
The Cavaliers fall to 18-12 including just 11-6 at home. It was only the second time in James’ career in which he shot less than 30% from the field and turned the ball seven times or more, and first that it has happened to him since 2009. The apathy in his face and body language when things start going badly for the Cavaliers this season is worrying, although he and his team have bounced back a number of times from games like these.
Overall, defense remains the main issue for this team as David Blatt continues to tweak rotations and look for an answer to what looks like motivation problems as well once the shots stop dropping. We started extremely well, but we lost our energy and we lost our competitiveness and that shouldn’t happen.
James has been saying the same thing after every bad loss, yet there doesn’t seem to be any significant improvement. With the injuries and so far no moves from the front office (if there are any to be made), a chance isn’t likely to come unless it happens from within.
We’re not a very good team, as far as on the court, where we’re still trying to find our way. Right now we’re just not very good in every aspect of the game that we need to be to compete every night.