Cavaliers Look For Better Results At Home And Against Heat
CLEVELAND -- For as bad as the Cavaliers have been on the road, they've been even worse at home and especially bad against the Miami Heat.
And now the news get worse. Two days after getting blitzed in Miami, the Cavs get the Heat again Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (7 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio).
The numbers will tell you the Cavs (15-41) are just 7-22 at home and have lost eight straight overall to the Heat. Saturday in Miami, Cleveland trailed 82-52 at halftime.
That's right, the Cavs' defense was every bit as bad in the second game under J.B. Bickerstaff as it had been all season under former coach John Beilein.
Basically, the only reason to pay any attention to the Cavs is to see if they are making any sort of progress. Right now, that subject is very much up for debate -- whether it's been under Bickerstaff or Beilein, whether Andre Drummond has been on the team (since Feb. 6), whether Kevin Love has been healthy or hurt.
Love, by the way, missed Saturday's game with a sore Achilles that has supposedly been nagging him since before the All-Star break. He is listed as probable for Monday's rematch.
For the Cavs, about the only bright side Saturday was Cedi Osman's 19-point, seven-rebound and seven-assist showing.
"We're going to take a lot of good lessons from here," Osman said after Saturday's loss.
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Osman has actually played some of his best basketball of the season in the two games under Bickerstaff -- who took over for Beilein immediately after the All-Star break.
The Cavs actually won the first try, Friday at Washington. They battled hard, overcame a 16-point deficit and received strong second-half play from everyone from Collin Sexton to Darius Garland to Tristan Thompson to Larry Nance Jr. and beyond.
In fact, you can make the case that Thompson has been better coming off the bench than Drummond has been so far as the starter. Not a surprise if true. Drummond has played in just four games with the Cavs and is still adjusting. He is already on his second Cavs coach, too.
Meanwhile, Sexton has appeared in every game of his two-year professional career and leads the Cavs in scoring at 19.8 points per game. While Garland starts at point guard, the Cavs still want to see Sexton's assist numbers of 2.8 per game improve significantly.
Love is adding averages of 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds.
For the Heat (36-20), All-Star Jimmy Butler will miss his second straight game for personal reasons. Butler called good friend and Heat legend Dwyane Wade last Friday to inform Wade that he would have to miss Wade's retirement ceremony. That took place at halftime vs. the Cavs.
Also out for Miami are big man Meyers Leonard (ankle) and guard Tyler Herro (also ankle). They have each missed seven straight games. Derrick Jones Jr. and Kelly Olynyk replaced Butler and Leonard in the starting lineup Saturday.