I tried to stay hopeful in the first half.
Even though there was some bad defense, the Wizards were making their open shots and the Cavaliers seemed to be hitting moonballs. However, the effort seemingly got worse as the game went on, and the offense fell off a cliff, while Cleveland kept hitting shots. It came to a point where the Wizards were looking to be blown out by the end of the game, but they made a comeback attempt that made the loss seem less terrible than it actually was.
John Wall continued his brilliant play scoring 32 points, dishing out 10 assists, and grabbing 5 rebounds. Martell Webster added 18 with some great 3 point shooting, knocking down 6 of his 10 attempts from deep. Dion Waiters killed the Wizards all night with 24 points on 11-18 shooting. Bradley Beal struggled again as he made just 4 of his 15 shot attempts, settling for contested jumpers all night and playing sub par defense. Kyrie Irving scored 19 points and dished out 12 assists, destroying the Wizards hard traps on the perimeter all night.
The Wizards have lost to Milwaukee, Detroit, Boston, and now Cleveland twice at home. While they played valiantly in the tough 7 game stretch against Western Conference teams, games like this expose the Wizards for what they are, an average team that plays to the level of their competition. Losing to a team in turmoil, and a team that got beaten by a Lakers team with 4 players takes the cake for all the bad losses the team has had this year. The Wizards play another below .500 team on Sunday, and it is imperative that they stay focused for them. The Kings have been playing teams very competitively thanks to Rudy Gay’s resurgence, and it will likely be a tougher battle coming in than Cleveland was tonight.
Here are some in-game notes:
-Not much defense by either team early, Wall getting beat by Kyrie regularly in the PnR
-Wizards are biting on way too many pumpfakes, leading to some terrible breakdowns.
-Other than some suspect defense, Wall has played a masterful quarter, aggressive getting to the rim, yet still patient in trying to find his teammates
-Rim protection has been non-existent with the bench, the Cavs are attacking the basket at will
-Cavs are hitting moonballs in the 1st half
-Wizards continue to inexplicably ignore CJ Miles, he’s taking advantage
-Wizards are settling for long twos in the 3rd quarter, no offensive flow