Cleveland Cavaliers Weekly: Road Woes Continue for the Cavs

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Cleveland CavaliersThe Cleveland Cavaliers finished up the week 1-3, losing all three of their road games, bring their record away from road to 0-5. They are one of eight teams to have not picked up a road win this season and only the Utah Jazz, who haven’t won any games this year, have as many road losses as the Cavs. Their offensive struggles did not really improve either. The team has averaged only 92.5 points per game this season, fifth-worst in the NBA.

Nov. 6 at Bucks, Loss 109-104

These two teams played each other close all night. The Bucks held the lead most of the game, but the Cavs did pull ahead as late as the middle of third quarter. Kyrie Irving had one of his best games of the season, dropping 29 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds. However, a turnover late in the fourth quarter with the Cavs only trailing by one and a heavily contested 3-point attempt to tie the game the next possession sealed the loss for Cleveland. Dion Waiters contributed 21 points, while C.J. Miles continued his bench success with 14 points.

In his fifth NBA game, Anthony Bennett finally made his first field goal, hitting a 3-pointer in the second quarter. He would not score again this game, finishing 1-for-5 from the field.

Nov. 8 at 76ers, Loss 94-79

The surprising 76ers defied the tank again, easily handling the Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers allow 107.1 PPG,  the worst defense in the NBA. The Cavaliers scored 79 points against them. They only hit a third of their shots, going 30-for-90 collectively. Waiters led the team with 18 points on 7-for-19 shooting. In a season-low six minutes, Bennett did nothing aside from gather one rebound.

This game also marked Andrew Bynum‘s return to Philadelphia where he played … oh, wait, never mind, he never played a game for the Sixers. After spending the entire season on the end of the bench, Bynum finally hit the court at the Wells Fargo Center. He played 18 minutes and posted four points and five rebounds, almost as quiet as his year with the 76ers.

Nov. 9 vs. 76ers, Win 127-125 (2OT)

The next night the Cavs and Sixers faced off again, this time in Cleveland. The Cavaliers avoided losing their third straight game by barely scratching out a victory against the 76ers in double overtime. Irving led the team with a season-high 39 points while also handing out 12 assists. Jarrett Jack played 37 minutes off the bench, scoring 20 points.

The Cavs struggled closing out the Sixers. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner tied the game in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and first overtime, respectively. Michael Carter-Williams tied the game at 125 with 11.3 seconds left in the second overtime. Irving, who had missed game-winning shots at the end of the fourth quarter and first overtime, finally got the shot to fall, sealing the victory on a drive with 0.6 seconds remaining.

Nov. 11 at Bulls, Loss 96-81

In his third season, Kyrie finally got to face off against Derrick Rose. Neither of them played in the same games during Irving’s rookie year and Rose missed all of last year recovering from a torn ACL. Neither was spectacular. Both finished with 16 points, Irving on 5-of-19 shooting, while Rose went 8-for-21.

Despite poor play most of the game, the Cavs pulled within three points with 5:20 remaining, but the Bulls closed the game on a 20-8 run. The Bulls had a balanced attack on offense all game, with Carlos Boozer scoring a team-high 17 points. Bynum also made his first start of the season and scored 11 points in 21 minutes of play.

Kyrie Irving

Irving led the Cavaliers with 39 points in a 127-125 victory of the Sixers. (Photo by slimm978/Flickr.com)

MVP of the Week: Kyrie Irving

Irving certaintly wasn’t fantastic this week. But in the team’s only victory, he scored 39 points, including the game-winning shot. Irving has not been great this year. He shot only 38.2 percent from the field during these four games and for the season is shooting 37.7 percent. As Irving goes, so too do the Cavs. Eventually, he’ll heat up and play to his potential. He’s too good not to. He’s played erratically so far, but games like the double overtime one against the Sixers show how exciting and dominating he can be.

LVP of the Week: Anthony Bennett

Sorry, rookie, hate to give you this title for the second straight week, but you deserve it. Bennett hit his first NBA field goal against the Bucks, but didn’t score in any capacity after that. He suffered a shoulder injury in Philadelphia, but returned to play the next day; however, he did not see any game action against the Bulls, despite not being listed as inactive. Bennett will keep seeing such little playing time with how poorly he has played. He obviously has struggled adjusting to the demands of the NBA game, but the Cavs can’t keep suffering from his poor play as they look to make the playoffs this year.

The Week Ahead

  • Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Timberwolves
  • Friday, Nov. 15 vs. Bobcats
  • Saturday, Nov. 16 at Wizards

All three of these games in theory are winnable for the Cavs. They’ve already beaten the Timberwolves, albeit on their home floor, and neither the Bobcats nor Wizards are intimidating opponents. A win in Washington seems more likely than Minnesota, but with the team’s road struggle they’ll be underdogs in both games. Andrew Bynum will also miss the games against the Timberwolves and Bobcats to handle a family medical matter.

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