The Cleveland Cavaliers finally notched their first win on the road this week, beating the Wizards in overtime. The win stopped a three-game losing streak, giving them their only win for the week. Tensions mounted after the Timberwolves demolished them 124-95, prompting a players only meeting where confrontations ensued. The Cavaliers clearly have major chemistry issues; they are out of sync on defense and have no rhythm offensively. Dion Waiters has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury, but Waiters denied it resulted from a locker room confrontation. Either way, the Cavs are a mess now. Here’s a look back at the past week:
Nov. 13 at Timberwolves, Loss 124-95
This one was ugly from the start. The Timberwolves jumped out to a 14 point lead at the end of the first quarter and only added to that lead as the game went continued. All of Minnesota’s starters were in double figures, with Kevin Love leading the team with 33 points. The Timberwolves played without Kevin Martin, who has had a terrific start to the season, averaging 24.4 points per game. Still, this caused no problems for them. They ran all over the Cavaliers, shooting a terrific 54.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 20 points and Anthony Bennett contributed a season-high six points off the bench on 3-for-11 shooting. Bennett embarrassingly missed a wide open dunk, perfectly summing the Cavs’ struggles that night and his own season long troubles.
Nov. 15 vs. Bobcats, Loss 86-80
After giving up 124 points in Minnesota, the defense recovered nicely, holding the Bobcats to only 86 points. However, the Cavs’ couldn’t find a way to capitalize on this on offense. Kyrie Irving’s 18 points were a game high, but came on only 5-for-16 shooting. C.J. Miles, starting in place of Waiters, could not capitalize on the extra minutes, shooting only 4-for-13 for eight points. The Cavaliers led entering the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hang on. It was their first home loss this season, and pushed their losing streak to three games.
Nov. 16 at Wizards, Win 103-96 (OT)
Finally, a road win!!! It took extra time for the Cavs to secure it and like their previous four victories it was very close. The seven point margin of victory was their largest for the season. Irving tied a career high with 41 points on 14-for-28 shooting. Tristan Thompson notched his seventh double-double of the season, posting 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers clawed back after trailing by as many as 15. They had one of their better games offensively, forcing 18 turnovers and holding the Wizards to 39.8 percent.
The Wizards, like the Cavaliers, are a young team with their eyes set on the postseason, but have gotten off to a rough start to begin the season. Wins like these are promising for the Cavaliers, especially coming on the road; it shows that they can pull out close wins against teams expected to content for a playoff berth.
Andrew Bynum missed the games against the Timberwolves and Bobcats to deal with a family issue. He returned for the Cavaliers overtime win in Washington. Dion Waiters has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury, but has rejoined the team and he is expected to play against the Wizards at home tonight.
Kyrie Irving has played with a mask the past two games to deal with a slightly broken nose. Rumors surfaced that it came from an altercation with Waiters during the players only meeting, but the team denied these reports.
The Week Ahead
- Wednesday Nov. 20, vs. Washington
- Friday Nov. 22, at New Orleans
- Saturday Nov. 23, at San Antonio
The Cavaliers get to face the Wizards for a rematch before embarking on a two game West Coast trip. Both of these games may get ugly. Center Anthony Davis is playing insanely well for the Pelicans and will likely dominate Bynum and Anderson Varejao, neither of whom can math Davis’ speed and athleticism. The next night, they take on the 9-1 Spurs, possibly the best team in the NBA. Given the Cavaliers’ struggles on the road, these could be brutal games for them.
Topics: Cleveland Cavaliers