Dribbles: Cavs Go Kaput In Lackadaisical Loss To Lowly Hornets

Randon dribbles following the Cavaliers’ ugly 118-111 road loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday …Jarrett Allen and Nick Richards battle for the ball.

1. That was just awful.

2. The Cavs are supposed to be fighting for playoff positioning and getting ready for the postseason. The Hornets are aiming for ping-pong balls in the NBA Draft lottery. Their season ended long ago.

3. Guess which team looked far more focused?

4. If you guessed the Cavs, you’re wrong.

5. It started OK. The Cavs scored a season-high 43 points in the first quarter. It ended awfully. They managed just 15 in the fourth.

6. Against the Hornets!

7. Seriously, man. How do you let this happen? Yes, the Hornets are bound to win a few. Yes, you’re missing Donovan Mitchell. No, none of that makes this OK.

8. Defensively, the Cavs spent too much of the night just sort of letting the Hornets do whatever they wanted — especially in the paint. Charlotte actually shot an eye-popping 58 percent from the field for the game. Fifty-eight percent!

9. What the Cavs showed on Wednesday was troubling. Or more accurately, what they didn’t show. And that was heart, hustle, focus, and the ability to close out a weaker and wounded opponent.

10. Offensively, the Cavs (44-29) committed 15 turnovers. Those led to 27 points for the Hornets (18-54). Darius Garland had five, including one act of randomly losing the ball out of bounds at around the 2:00 minute mark.

11. Caris LeVert committed four — one of which was a travel in the final minute, as he pounded and pounded the ball to try to work himself free for a shot. That was pretty much ended the Cavs’ hopes of avoiding the upset.

12. That’s a lack of focus on both of their parts, and a lack of doing the things that enabled the Cavs to reach second and third place in the Eastern Conference.

13. Sidenote: They’re now in fourth.

14. Somebody, please, for the love of all that is holy, convince Garland to stop turning the ball over. If he can’t do it, put him on the bench. It’s costing the Cavs games. I love the guy, but it’s past time to pull it together. Starting NBA point guards don’t commit five turnovers against teams that can’t — and probably don’t even want to — defend.

15. Jarrett Allen was himself, scoring 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting. He did a fine job. Max Strus returned from a 12-game absence and looked as if he never left — scoring 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers. Strus also had a couple of steals. Sam Merrill added 17 points but couldn’t get it going in the second half.

16. Evan Mobley and everyone else were just sort of running around out there.

17. Rookie forward Brandon Miller was brilliant for the Hornets, scoring 31 points. That guy is going to be a regular All-Star, and soon. He hit seven threes, including one to seal the deal.

18. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff took the heat, but he sees the same things we see. The Cavs just don’t look right these days, and it’s more than just missing Mitchell. “It’s on me to do a better job and figure out what the problem is,” Bickerstaff told reporters.

19. Garland scored 14 but continues to struggle with his shooting. He did record 12 assists. Georges Niang added 14 points on 5-of-7 from the field.

20. Clearly, the Cavs really miss their leading scorer, and Mitchell is indeed looking at a return Friday at home vs. Philadelphia. That won’t fix everything but it’ll be a start. So say your prayers, Cavs fans.

21. Right now, the Cavs need a win any way they can get it. But what they need even more is to play with some real determination and in a manner that makes them proud. This sure wasn’t any of those things.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!


  1. It makes no logical sense that Craig Porter and Dean Wade are better than Garland and Mobley but yet when you look at the games it seems like we win more…..

Leave a Reply