Tough loss. I saw the fourth quarter and OT of the Cavs-Nuggets game but only caught glimpses of the first two thirds of the game. From what I saw, the word that sums up the loss to me is ‘sloppy’. The Cavs missed their free throws, they missed some layups, and they only had a passing interest in rebounding the ball (you could definitely tell that they had a full week off).
The offense down the stretch? Bad. Yes, LeBron had an awesome game but he took some TERRIBLE shots in the fourth quarter and OT. James had 43 points, 13 boards, 15 assists and 4 blocks- spectacular. However, he was 1-9 from behind the arc and he just murdered the offense down the stretch.
Now, it’s not totally his fault (not that you can fault a guy with 43-13-15 but the dude was 1-9 from downtown). In OT, Mike Brown had a lineup of Boobie, AP, LeBron, Varejao and Shaq, two spot up (re: stand around and wait) shooters, a guy who can only score in the pick and roll and an aging post man. Yes, neither Mo Williams nor Delonte were having the best of games, but at least they can handle the ball and create a shot.
And about the last shot in OT… yes, LeBron slipped, but wow. That’s the play that was drawn up? Down two with 1.9 to go, get LeBron the ball 27 feet from the hoop? Really? What the fuck? Can you at least fake a lob pass so Denver has to think about guarding something? No picks, no misdirection…. nothing. What was LeBron going to do 27 feet from the hoop with 1.9 seconds left? There’s no way they could’ve gotten a closer shot? You only needed two points, you don’t need the three. Now I know why Antawn Jamison said that the pregame handshakes will be tougher to learn than the offense.
Frustrating, very frustrating.
Now the Nuggets are 2-0 against the Cavs. Expect to hear about this from ESPN. This is why regular season records don’t matter. Do you feel like the Nuggets are a better team than Cleveland? I don’t. The first loss came without Carmelo Anthony, one of those games that the Cavs didn’t take particularly seriously. Then last night, LeBron is missing layups and Varejao is having passes bounce off his hands (again, sloppy, sloppy game). Just think about the Nuggets the next time you’re touting the Cavs record against the Lakers and Magic.
The Cavs face the Charlotte Bobcats tonight, here’s hoping Cleveland comes to play.