To say it was a bad night for the Cavaliers is an understatement. The Cavaliers fell behind the Nets early, and were never really in the 113 – 95 game.
Throughout the game, the Nets were more focused and played like a team that is ready to go into the playoffs. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, played lethargic at times and looked like a team that is ready for summer vacation.
The Nets shot very well in the first half in order to open up the big lead, but part of the reason for that was poor defense by the Cavaliers. The Nets are a better team than the Cavaliers, but they should not be able to get as many open shots as they did on Wednesday night.
Head Coach Byron Scott preaches defense first, but the Cavaliers defense has been poor for much of the season and is one reason that the team’s record is so bad.
Far too often on Wednesday, the Nets were able to get the ball into the key for lay-ups after just one or two passes. On one first half possession, for example, the Nets brought the ball down the court and swung it to guard Deron Williams, who was far to the left of the key. Williams fired the ball into the post to a streaking Brook Lopez who went to the rim pretty much uncontested.
Those types of plays should not happen, but opposing teams seem to get them often against the Cavaliers.
Scott said after the game that he was frustrated with his team’s effort.
“Nowadways, playing hard seems to be a skill. Playing hard is your job, simple as that. And basically, that’s all that we ask of you – to play hard every single night, not every other night. I don’t know, to be honest with you, why we came out the way we did tonight,” Scott said.
The Cavaliers did have a few good moments against the Nets, though, and a play at the end of the third quarter was spectacular.
Irving had the ball on the right side of the floor with the clock winding down, and he drove into the key. He got by one player, made a quick spin and drove through traffic to get to the left side of the rim where he scored.
The All-Star guard is a great ball handler, and it is amazing to see how easily he seems to drive by players to get to the rim. It was the best play of the night for the Cavaliers, although Irving did have some other nice moments. Irving scored 16 points on the night and also passed out six assists.
Irving had a good but not great game, and overall the Cavaliers had a terrible game.
The night mainly ended up being a good example of why the Nets are going to the playoffs, the Cavaliers are going to the lottery and Irving is giving Cavaliers fans hope for the future.