Dribbles: Shorthanded Cavs Don’t Seem Like Losers, Despite Fact Warriors Won

Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ 104-89 home loss to the Warriors on Thursday …

1. The tweet on my timeline from a Cavs fan read, “Steph Curry is still annoying.”

2. Reader @jeff_nicodemus wrote, “Cleveland refusing to attack the basket at all in the 4th doomed them. First 10 possessions were a turnover or missed 3. Sours an otherwise valiant effort.”

3. Well, I’d say that about sums it up.

4. Suddenly, the Cavs (9-8) are hovering around .500. But that’s OK. They are doing the best they can with the hand they’ve been dealt — and it’s a lousy one, given all the injuries.Isaac Okoro

5. It won’t always be this way against the Warriors. Eventually, the Cavs’ time is gonna come. Just not yet.

6. Yes, Curry erupted for 40 points. For the record, I don’t find him annoying. But I understand if the Cavs and their fans are sick of seeing him. If it’s any condolence, he basically does this to everyone.

7. As for the Cavs, what more can you say? They’re missing four starters, which does more than just impact the starting lineup. It also understandably resulted in very little production from the bench.

8. Along with Jarrett Allen (illness), Evan Mobley (elbow), Lauri Markkanen (protocols) and Collin Sexton (knee), Cedi Osman was a late scratch with back spasms. Osman has been playing well lately, too. I’d say the Cavs can’t catch a break, but I’m afraid to use the word “break” around them.

9. That basically left Kevin Love and a bunch of guys who are still trying to find their way in reserve. Love had a nice night with 17 points and seven rebounds. It was one of his best all-around games in years. Maybe he was auditioning for a role with the Warriors.

10. I know. That last sentence was totally unnecessary. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

11. But a credit to Love for doing all he could to help the vastly undermanned Cavs in trying to stral one.

12. Darius Garland started off hot and led the way with 25 points. He also passed for five assists. But we’re getting to the point of the season where he needs to start cutting down on turnovers (seven). He says he knows that.

13. You also had to love what you saw from Dean Wade (17 points, nine boards). While the Cavs’ main men are hurting or healing, other youngsters such as Wade and Isaac Okoro (10 points, seven rebounds) are getting invaluable experience against contenders such as the Nets and Warriors.

14. I’m convinced the Cavs would’ve won with either Allen or Mobley. Or if they were facing a lesser opponent. 

15. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff to reporters: “My pride in this group cannot be spoken or measured. To be as shorthanded as were … we don’t make excuses. We could’ve given all the reasons in the world why we wouldn’t have competed tonight, but we did.”

16. Center Ed Davis (seven points, 14 rebounds) was a shining example of that. He’s barely played this season and was brought in as almost strictly a veteran voice in practice and the locker room. But he was forced to start each of the past two games. Against the Warriors, he had grabbed 12 of his rebounds by the middle of the second quarter.

17. Finally, the Cavs get three days off to get some rest, some practice and some time to heal. They could have both Allen and Markkanen back for Monday’s game vs. the Nets. This time, it’s at home. This time, this version of Cavs Lite could have some help.

18. With as hard as they play, frankly, you have to like their chances against anyone. That’s just the kind of season it’s been. They have played with great determination, belief and pride. That part is not up for debate.

19. Former Cavs No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins added 14 for the Warriors (13-2). He had been averaging about 25 over the previous four games, so the Cavs did a nice job on him. But that so-called annoying Curry guy just couldn’t be stopped.

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