It is very bad. I know some fifth grade girls basketball teams that score a lot more than 23 points in a half.
Now I realize that the Pacers are a good defensive team and that they do a much better job of defending the high screen and role than most fifth grade girls basketball teams do, but no NBA defense should be able to hold a team to just 23 points in a half.
At that rate, the Cavaliers were on pace to score just 46 points for the whole game. (I figured that one out myself, and I wasn’t even a math major in college.) Just think about how ridiculous that is.
How does a team do that? Did the Cavaliers resign Ben Wallace and put him at shooting guard? Did Tyler Zeller’s and Tristan Thompson’s facemasks fog up or frost over so they couldn’t see? Was the basket crooked?
In the third quarter of the game, the Cavaliers shot a miserable 4 for 23 for the field and 1 for 8 from the three-point line. The Cavaliers also had 6 turnovers and just 2 assists. And while all of that seems bad, you need to realize that the third quarter was the highest-scoring quarter of the second half, as the Cavaliers scored 12 points. The Pacers, meanwhile, scored 28.
In the fourth quarter the Cavaliers shot 4 for 18 (which actually was a better shooting percentage than the third quarter) from the field and 1 for 6 from behind the three-point line. The Cavaliers also had 4 turnovers and 3 assists while scoring just 11 points.
The Cavaliers have had problems closing out games this season, but this was the first time the team had a problem even making it to the end of the game.
I know the players were tired from playing the night before, but they have got to do better than that.
Kobe Bryant can put up 23 points by himself in a quarter.
The Oklahoma City Thunder can score 23 points in about 3 minutes.
A team that shoots 8 for 41 in the second half is a team that is most likely taking a lot of bad shots. Granted, the Cavaliers likely were tired and that probably contributed to the lack of scoring, too. The players couldn’t have been that tired, though. It was just bad basketball.
Maybe Head Coach Byron Scott can turn this into a positive learning moment for the Wine and Gold. Maybe he can use this to motivate the team in practice and during games to give the players some spark so another half like this doesn’t happen again. And if it does start happening again, maybe Scott can suit up and get into the game. I’m betting he could still score 23 points in a half.