The San Antonio Spurs could do no wrong. In usual Spurs, fashion they came into Quicken Loans arena and completely shut down the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are known for playing boring basketball, but they always find a way to win games. Mike Brown, who was a student of Gregg Popovich, had no answer for his mentor.
The Cavaliers came out hot, shooting 40 percent in the first half of the game, and it remained that way throughout. The Spurs shot an insane 62 percent from the field. They passed the ball with fluidity and the Cavaliers didn’t have an answer for it. However, the worst thing about the loss is that it wasn’t Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili that beat them, but It was Patty Mills, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Green and Mills seemed like they couldn’t miss. Mills shot 67 percent from 3-point range for the game. Green shot 23 percent, but he was left wide open on numerous occasions.
The defensive performance of a team is the reflection of the coach. Brown still cannot coach defense as a “head” coach. Alonzo Gee, who is the best perimeter defender on the team, did not see action until the last seven minutes of the game. He could of been used to defend Mills and Green as they were shooting the lights out.
Luol Deng used to be a great defender on the perimeter, but he just has not fit into the system since joining the Cavaliers from the Chicago Bulls. In fact, Deng has been a shell of what he was with the Bulls. He is slow, old and unmotivated. This could be because of lingering injuries he has suffered or because of Brown’s coaching taking its toll.
Kyrie Irving was tied with Dion Waiters as leading scorer for the Cavaliers with 24, but they were both terrible defensively. Irving got abused by Mills all second quarter long and Waiters had no answer for Ginobili or Marco Belinelli. They both can score the ball at will, but they can not defend their opponents. That is all on Brown.
Some fans think the Cavaliers are a playoff team, and that is simply not the case. They are still a few years away from being a contender. The East is abysmal this year, and they just can’t overcome the hump to win the games that they need to. It could be as simple as a personnel change or a new head coach. Something has to be done in the offseason.
The Cavaliers have a brutal schedule coming down the stretch against all playoff teams. It started tonight against the Spurs and continues Friday against the Charlotte Bobcats. They have lost all three meetings against them this year. This will be the biggest game of the year for them if they still have any hope to grab a playoff spot.
If the team hasn’t completely checked out on Brown, they might have a chance to win some of these games.