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Cleveland’s Utter Lack of Defense

The Cavs have an irrefutable downward spiral going on. In the beginning of the season the Cavs were first in the NBA for the defense, now they’re the 22nd in defense.

“Lack of energy” and “lackadaisical starts” were the players’ reasonings for multiple losses. Three-point shooting, more importantly perimeter shooting is absent for the Cavs’ offensive. We all know the saying: you miss every shot you don’t take. Well, Cleveland ranks last in 3-point shots attempted and made.

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff says the team’s three-point shooting goals are to make more “contested and challenged” shots.  Moreover, the Cavs plummeting precipitously on the defensive end.  

The Cavs are currently in the West competing with championship contenders. Last night, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers won 128-11. The Cavs are currently ranking thirteenth in the East (10-18).

With Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and Andre Drummond out the Cavs started a new combination for the starting five against the Clippers:

·  Darius Garland (PG)

·  Collin Sexton (SG)

·  Isaac Okoro (SF)

·  Taurean Prince (PF)

·  Jarrett Allen (C)

Although the Cavs showed high energy, the Clippers took a significant lead late in the second quarter (12 points) and the Cavs couldn’t seem to progress towards the gap. Coach Bickerstaff understands this starting five is younger and learning.

Cedi Osman voiced his concerns regarding defense and consistency.

“We were trying to simplify the game offensively but I don’t think there is a problem with offense right now. I think defensively, we have to be better. It’s just not enough, especially against these types of teams, high scoring teams. It’s not enough.  We have to be better. We have to play harder. The other teams are not letting us score easy but we gave up so many easy points tonight,” says Osman. “Offensively, we will score. We have guys who can really score the basketball but defensively we have to be better.”

The Cavs are a developing team, however continuity affects their defense. The talent is there. This team is more than capable. The West is filled with championship contenders, the Cavs knew this road trip would be a challenge. However, the amount of insufferable losses is indicative of greater problems. 

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