Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cliff's Edge 12.3.14: Two Faces #Cavs

By @CLG2282

The Cavs, oh the Cavs.  They know how to make other wise simple things complicated, do they not?

It seems that LeBron and the gang like to play to the level of their competition.  Especially James himself.

If it's not playing down to the competition, then it's not being able to put together a complete game in which they play well for an entire four quarters.

Last night was a typical Jekyll and Hyde performance from the home team. 

The Cavs were rebounding well offensively but not so well defensive end.  Great defensive plays were made but weren't capitalized on at the offensive end.  Or vice versa. Kevin Love got off to a very hot start. He recorded 17pts 5 rebs in the first quarter.  And when he went to the bench, Irving sparked the Cavs offense late in the first and early into the second quarter.

But again, they started to slip and give up another lead. The Bucks went on a 17-6 run during the first five and a half minutes  of the 2nd quarter. *face plams*.

You would think the Cavs players would be terrible drivers the way the so often take their foot off of the proverbial gas pedal. What also seems to be a theme with Cleveland is overplaying.  The team tries to do too much or overplays when the simple logical play will work just fine. This is often my biggest peeve with James.  He frequently gets "too fancy" with simple plays like behind the back and one handed passes that aren't necessary and have usually ended up as turnovers.

Kevin Love gets his fair share of overly complicated plays with long, over-the-head passes that get intercepted.  I'm starting to believe that this is just an aspect of this teams character that we'll have to get use to.

On the bright side, the mid games hiccups of Cleveland afforded true basketball fans a treat.  Jabari Parker took full advantage of the Cavs sloppy play. Picking his spots, Parker looked explosive and very comfortable with his game.  He got to his spots and played within his game well. Lazy play lead to playing catch up going into halftime.  But the Cavs were able to muster small runs and cut the Bucks lead to just two going into the half.

One thing that was pleasantly unusual is that Cavs play coming OUT of the half. Yes, a third quarter in which the Cavs played well. Who would have thought? There was a clear momentum swing when the Cavs went on 9-0 run. Started with a Mike Miller 3, Kyrie got a steal and completed a three-point play on the ensuing possesion.  LeBron added one of two free throws followed by another Kyrie layup. Unfortunately, James staggered and stopped the Cavs momentum being selfish.  He tried to hard to get himself involved in the run instead of finding the best available shot or open man. He forced a shot and pass resulting in twi turnovers for him respectively. Come on LeBron, at least act like you want to play here AND win. Though the score was still tied at the end of the 3rd, the Cavs were awake and attacking the entire quarter. They were able to jump out to small leads.  And for the most part the Cavse seemed to control that quarter.

The Bucks made their own runs keeping the game close but Cleveland looked more polished.
Early game blundders by the Cavs made it a very close game but the Wine and Gold were able to survive. Scrapping and clawing to the end,  the Cavs were able to stay ahead late and secure a three point victory.

There are still some obvious issues with the Cavs as a team. As the first quarter of the season is wrapping up, one would hope that these things won't plague us to and, heaven forbid, through the All-Star break or the rest of the season.

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