Cleveland Cavaliers blow 22-point lead against Pacers


The Cleveland Cavaliers continue their tough stretch of losses against the Indiana Pacers. What is the issue now with the team, and will this loss finally wake them up?

Road trips have not been kind to the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

They finished the current trip at 1-4. Some games were close, but others were downright ugly. They lost to the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves by a combined 62 points and gave up 260 points. That’s not ideal for a team trying to win its second championship.

According to and the Elias Sports Bureau, no team has gone on to win the NBA Finals after two consecutive 25-point losses in a season.

It’s been lethargic effort on the defensive side of the ball along with terrible shot selection and missed open shot attempts. They’ve taken 20 steps back from the progression they made after winning 13 straight games.

Some NBA fans say it’s due to the return of Isaiah Thomas. While that is true, everybody knew that Thomas would go through a malaise as he tries to fit in with the team and get back into NBA shape.

More from Cleveland Cavaliers

He came out in the first game against the Portland Trail Blazers and looked unstoppable, but people that understand the game of basketball knew that he would go through an adjustment period.

However, most are saying that it’s the usual Cavaliers January struggles.

For the last three and a half years, I’ve written about the Cavs’ struggles at the beginning of the new year, and it’s been the same old song and dance early in 2018.

They play terrible, make a trade, fire the coach, LeBron James is old, etc. But this time, it’s a little different. They’re not only losing games, but they’re getting annihilated in the process. Teams have shown the Cavs zero respect. The officials haven’t either, but that’s for a different article.

The post defensive woes are being exposed big time. Opposing teams are getting no resistance from inside the paint at all. They have free rein to the basket at all times.

Heck, it’s so bad, they made Vince Carter look like it was 2001.

Friday’s loss against the Indiana Pacers might be the worst of them all. The Cavaliers had a 22-point lead going into the third quarter, but in usual Cavs fashion these days, they imploded, got lackadaisical on defense, and let them back into the game.

They couldn’t stop the attack from the ghost of Al Jefferson, or Pacers headcase Lance Stephenson. It was also all Victor Oladipo needed in the fourth quarter to get going since he was having a terrible shooting night.

It just all fell apart again for the Cavaliers. A 22-point lead just vanished into thin air.

They lost the game by two. There were questionable calls down the stretch, but it never should have came to that. They should have won the game comfortably and at least came back to Cleveland with a 2-3 record.

Instead, they lost, and are going to face a Golden State Warriors team that has won four of its last five games. Two wins came without Stephen Curry.

How are the Cavaliers going to be ready for that? They could win the game, but it still isn’t going to solve the issues and questions with the club.

Are they going to make a trade for a rim protector and defensive wing?

We all thought Jae Crowder would be that player, but he’s been atrocious and has fallen in love with the 3-pointer. It could be because he’s playing out of position, but he’s been disappointing to say the least.

As for the center position, most people have fail to realize that the Cavaliers never truly addressed the issue from last season.

They signed Andrew Bogut, but he only lasted 60 seconds before he was out. They worked out and signed Larry Sanders, but he was so behind and out of NBA shape it wasn’t worth it.

Live Feed

What would a successful 2023-24 look like for Cavaliers' Ty Jerome?
What would a successful 2023-24 look like for Cavaliers' Ty Jerome? /

King James Gospel

  • Prominent NBA agent says LeBron had a harder path than JordanKing James Gospel
  • A crucial year in the Land: 3 bold predictions for the Cavs this seasonKing James Gospel
  • How many teams from the Cavs’ Central Division will make the playoffs?King James Gospel
  • Grade the Trade: Cavs swap Mitchell for rival's worst contract in B/R pitchKing James Gospel
  • 3 disasters the Cleveland Cavaliers need to avoid this seasonKing James Gospel
  • The Cavs then signed 7’3″ giant Edy Tavares, but he was so raw on both ends of the floor, he only played in a few games, and didn’t see any action in the postseason. He was released at the beginning of the season.

    It’s the elephant in the room that must be addressed. Since my first article, I’ve mentioned how the Cavaliers need to get post help, and now everybody is starting to see it.

    Is Tyronn Lue the right guy to continue to coach the Cavs? I know this was a question that was asked at the beginning of the season, but it’s become more of a reality. At times, it looks like he’s lost the team.

    He doesn’t motivate them, and even worse, when a player has gotten a terrible foul called on them, and there has been a lot this season, he doesn’t defend them. Lue just stands there with a lost look on his face, and the game continues on.

    Players appreciate when their coach gets kicked out of games, or argues a bad call. They don’t have to do it on every call or play, but on obvious ones like the controversial calls during the Warriors Christmas game and in this one, do something.

    It could be time for a new voice. I just don’t think Lue has what it takes. It’s overwhelming for him to juggle all the different personalities in the locker room.

    If a change doesn’t happen this season, I’m sure it will be a consideration of Dan Gilbert going into the offseason.

    This horrible stretch and speculation can all go away with a little defense, and another win streak.

    Next: 2017-18 Week 13 NBA Power Rankings

    But for right now, they’re playing the worst basketball in this second round of the LeBron era and something has to be done. They’ll be fine, but the fine tuning needs to start now.