Dribbles: Cavs Need To Burn The Film On Game 3, Never Speak Of It Again

Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ 121-83 beatdown of a road loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of their NBA first-round playoff series. …

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Georges Niang, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA
(John Raoux/AP Photo)

1. Well, that was embarrassing. More than that, it was the worst loss in the history of the Cavaliers playoff basketball.

2. How’s that for a summary of Game 3?

3. When it comes to the playoffs, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the Cavs play worse. Not a single thing went their way. They looked slow, unmotivated, soft … it was almost as if they weren’t even out there and the Magic were just putting on a 3-point shooting and dunking show for fans.

4. The Magic were the Harlem Globetrotters. The Cavs were the Globetrotters’ opponent that’s paid to lose.

5. For the record, the Cavs’ second-worst playoff loss came almost 16 years ago to the day. It was April 24, 2008, when they were smoldered by a 108-72 count against the Wizards in Washington.

6. Their third-worst came a decade later against the Pacers in Indiana. For what it’s worth, Cleveland won each of those series. Of course, they had prime LeBron James then, too.

7. Their stars today go by the names of Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland. In Game 3, those four were bad, bad, bad and triple bad, respectively.

8. Meanwhile, the Magic just did whatever they wanted. They probably even did some things they weren’t expecting to do. It was just that easy for them. If you watched the game (my condolences), you know what I’m talking about.

9. After the game, coach J.B. Bickerstaff wore the look of a man who spent three hours standing in the rain, only to learn he was at the wrong bus stop. “They came out and played with a sense of urgency,” he told the media of the Magic.

10. The Cavs, on the other hand? Yeah, not so much.

11. Jarrett Allen scored 15 points. So did Caris LeVert. Mitchell had 13. Garland had five. The starting backcourt was pretty lousy. And please, someone do something about Garland. He’s too talented to be so … well, average. And some fans may say I’m being too kind there.

12. While you’re at it, wake up Max Strus. He’s yet to add more than just an occasional small splash of outside shooting in this series. The Cavs acquired him during the offseason for these very moments. It’s time to start delivering.

13. All-Star Paolo Banchero was utterly dominant for the Magic. He did whatever he wanted, including the “too small” sign after scoring on Mitchell. Yeah, it was that kind of miserable evening in Orlando.

14. So, there you have it. And guess what? I contend that the Magic cannot play this well again, or the Cavs this dreadfully. 

15. So throw it away. Only remember it so that you come out extra motivated and angry in Game 4. The Cavs are the superior team. There’s no excuse for this. Good teams use games like these to fuel themselves. 

16. What the Cavs don’t want is to come back to Cleveland with this thing tied at 2-all and their tails between their legs. Game 4 will give us a lot of answers about who they are and what the future might hold. After dominating the first two games, they have to decide which team is the real Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 4 is Saturday, also in Orlando. It’s go time now.

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  1. This starts with the coach. He needs to start the best lineups and he is not. Their offense is so bad it is effecting the defense.

  2. Yes ….. Too Kind.
    But that’s the kinda Guy YOU are. … In a good way.
    Sorry, but Garland needs to be traded.

    7 & We’ve all HOPED Bik & the staff would’ve been able to work things out there, but even as Brett alluded to, coaching has NOT been present to view tapes, or something, or see the things necessary to get his reckless abandon under control.

    I would that they could’ve traded HIM INSTEAD OF L. Markennan, The worth of that one could’ve paid dividends for years! But alas, that ship has long since sailed. That Three Tower Offense even shook The Greek to say, “we really have to take the the Cavs as serious contenders now”. No longer when you have the lacksidaisical attitude that Garland displays with his last-second snap passes that cause the receiver to be shocked as it whizzes by the bewildered, leaning over, receiver’s outstretched hands.
    Game 4 will tell for sure though??? ??? I thought they would get swept if they happened to face NY again, but they somehow avoided that one,,,,, but……

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