In order to win at basketball, the key is just putting the ball in the basket and keeping the opposing team from doing the same. Right now, the Cavaliers are not very good in either of these areas.
Currently, the Cavaliers are tied with the Portland Trail Blazers at allowing the highest shooting percentage by their opponents. Teams are shooting 47 percent against the Cavaliers and the Trail Blazers, higher than they are against any other teams.
At the same time, the Cavaliers have the second-worst shooting percentage in the league at 41.7 percent, ahead of only the lowly Washington Wizards.
Basically, the Cavaliers are one of the worst shooting teams in the league and one of the worst at stopping other teams from making shots. This is a formula for losing.
Head coach Byron Scott wants the Cavaliers to be a defensive-oriented team that also runs an offense that allows the players to take high percentage shots. So either the players aren’t buying into the system or they just aren’t good enough to run it yet.
To be fair to the Cavaliers, the team has had a lot of injuries and key scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters have both been out of action for extended periods of time. Without those two on the floor, the Cavaliers were bound to struggle on the offensive end. Their absence also likely led to defensive troubles as well.
In addition, the Cavaliers are an extremely young team, and many of the players are still adapting to the NBA game. It is expected that they will learn to take better shots and become better scorers as they gain more experience, and they will likely become better defenders, too.
In Tuesday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Cavaliers shot an excellent 51.4 percent from the field, which is great news. The bad news is, though, that the Raptors managed to shoot 52 percent from the field.
This game was the first with both Waiters and Irving back in the line-up since early in the season, and it was encouraging at least to see the offense improve.
The Cavaliers lost that game basically in the fourth quarter, just like they have done with numerous other games so far this season. The Cavaliers can hang with teams until the end of the games, but too often they just can’t get the defensive stops they need and the opposing teams end up with easy shots. And on the offensive end, the Cavaliers often can’t drive to the rim or get open looks for easy shots, and they are not getting the big baskets when they need them.
It may take some time to improve the shooting percentage, the but players should be able to improve the defensive situation quickly. It takes pride and hard work to play solid defense, and with a record of 5-21 the Cavaliers should be working harder than anyone in the league to try to turn the season around. The players also must be tired of losing, and hopefully will take some pride in improving on the defensive end.
As the season progresses, hopefully the offense and defense will both improve and the Cavaliers will start winning more games. Right now, though, things like bad. The only two good things about the situation are that the Cavaliers can only get better in these areas, and at least the team isn’t as bad at shooting as the Wizards.