Dribbles: One Game After Trade, Cavs As Ugly As Ever

Sam Amico

CLEVELAND --Random dribbles following the Cavaliers' 133-92 home massacre of a defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

1. What do you say after a 41-point loss? If you're Cavs coach John Beilein you talk about how you failed to make the right pass or get any stops on defense. "We were not good," Beilein said. "We were way out of sync in so many ways."

2. Beilein spoke the truth. The Cavs were discombobulated even for the Cavs.

3. You rarely win in the NBA with two young guards. Man oh man, the Cavaliers are learning that the hard way. That's all I can come up with when it comes to why this has gone so far off the tracks. 

4. But Collin Sexton and Darius Garland alone aren't to blame. This has been an organization-wide collapse.

5. As it stands, the Cavs (13-40) have lost 12 straight at home. And that's not even the worst of it. That said, this was indeed the worst home loss in franchise history. In short, this team is beyond hard to watch.

6. All this one game after stealing center Andre Drummond in a trade with Detroit. Drummond (19 points, 14 rebounds) looked just fine. Kevin Porter Jr. looked just fine. Everyone else had a night to forget, and that probably includes Beilein and GM Koby Altman.

7. Yes, these are the Clippers. Yes, the Clippers are legitimate championship contenders. They look like they are playing in a different league than the Cavs. We knew that coming in.

8. But the Clippers were also without reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and starting guard Patrick Beverley. Those are two crucial parts. They also were playing their second road game in two nights.

9. Yet they ran through the Cavs as if the Cavs were the JV squad just going through the motions in a scrimmage.

10. Something needs to be done here. Beilein's message is probably good, but it sure doesn't seem to be getting through. And if it is getting through, then he is coaching way too many players who don't belong in the NBA. And if they do belong in the NBA ... well, I don't know what else to say. This is just a mess.

11. Most of the goals this season were as follows, in no particular order: A) Develop young players; B) Play a determined, gritty style that made opponents hate coming to town; C) Show progress, that you're moving toward something better.

12. Do you see any of those things happening? I sure don't. To me, it looks as if the Cavs are regressing.

13. More Beilein: "As soon as we started the game, everybody was so juiced up. We were too excited. Too big of a change (with Drummond in uniform for first time). All I know is we'll work at it."

14. Lou Williams led the Clippers (37-16) with 25 points. Paul George added 22, and Montrezl Harrell scored 19. The Cavs have no one like any of those three. I'm not sure the Cavs even potentially do.

15. OK, enough of that. There are 29 games an All-Star break to go. Let's see what the Cavs can do from here. The best idea would be to put the first 51 games in the rearview mirror and start over.

16. Next up: The Cavs get Atlanta at home Wednesday. It'll be a real chance to end this ugly home skid. But with this team, man, you just never know.

Comments (6)
No. 1-5

I think a little patience should be put into practice here. It’s not easy to drop someone like Drummond into the chemistry of a <young> team whose starting point guard tops his personal season high for games played each time he goes onto the court. Drummond is highly intelligent but brings a career full of years using the Detroit system.

Let’s see if the vitriol exists 5 games after the break.


When you draft the best player available, which I am in favor of, this is bound to happen every so often. It may be time this summer to do another Kevin Johnson-like trade to free up a potential all star for the bigger good. The current team seems similar to trying to play Mark Price and KJ in the same backcourt.


Think The Cavs made a meal of the transfer deadline. The only issue I have with the Drummond trade is that TT is still on the roster. Cant believe that Love is still on the roster too. IMO, the Cavs should have taken whatever was on offer to rid themselves of Love's dog of a contract.


Sam, you've been saying the same thing for some time now. I imagine you're tired of writing it. Now that the trade distraction is past and the draft distraction not quite here, might you write a bit more deeply about what is actually happening? Why the defense sucks, what they're doing to fix it, which players are improving, what Beilein is trying to get them to do, whether the short guard thing is (as I think) hopeless? As it is, with the team (as you say) broken and your writing repetitive, there seems little reason to follow your writing, which does not seem a promising proposition for someone who enjoys his work.


Sam you hit it with point number 4! This is indeed an organizational collapse. Young players have regressed and consummate team guys like TT and Love have complained out loud about the coach and lack of direction. Altman and the coach are over their heads. Gilbert (i know he had a stroke) is the main one to blame for having a poor plan and structure in place when we all knew LBJ was leaving. Now the franchise is circling the drain. )-: