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The Rundown – 120819: Blowout Night in the NBA, Cavs Making a Beeline to Quit on Beilein

Is John Beilein too tough on the prima donnas in Cleveland? Russell Westbrook has another triple double, Julius Randle drops the ball, Luka Doncic impresses again, and Donovan Mitchell hibernates the Grizzlies.

It’s a little early to be giving up, don’t you think?

It’s one thing to be intimidated by an opponent, like the New Orleans Pelicans seemingly were last night. It’s another to simply be the team outclassed by a strong Utah Jazz lineup. 

But it’s an entirely different thing to just give no effort like the Cleveland Cavaliers did versus the Philadelphia 76ers in a situation where there’s all but an announced coup of John Beilein after only 20 games.

Twenty games is barely enough to get set plays in the playbook and working efficiently in the offense. And last time I remember, Beilein isn’t the one donning the Converse high tops and playing for the Cavaliers. In fact, that hasn’t happened since 1975, when he was a Wheeling Cardinal.

Yet an (overpaid) payroll (eighth in the NBA) of $131,515,996 thinks they know better, that they have all the answers. Hey, Cleveland, you have a .464 winning percent through 50 seasons (1,853-2,139). You’re 5-17 so far this season, and were 19-63 last year when Beilein was still making things happen for the Michigan Wolverines. In fact, without your beloved LeBron James on board carrying your lazy asses, you’re flat out horrible.

And, yes, he has a collegiate approach. This is his first NBA job. Granted, it hasn’t worked on in the NBA for Fred Hoiberg, John Calipari, or Rick Pitino. College is all Beilein knows thus far. He’s had very successful runs at Michigan, West Virginia, Richmond, and Canisius in Division I, and successful stints with Le Moyne College, Nazareth College and Erie Community College.

It’s unknown who’s leading the bitch patrol in the locker room, but unless you’ve led your team to the Final Four twice in five years, an NIT champion, a CAA champion, a MAAC champion, and a Coach of the Year, back the heck off and give the man a fighting chance.

In the meantime, trade the prima donnas. 

Trim your payroll. 

And if Beilein has a ‘college approach,’ let him coach the kids fresh out of college. 

I guarantee you’ll get a better Cavaliers team for now and the future if you focus on Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter, Jr. than the seat filling veterans that whine about every coach that comes along (see David Blatt, Tyronn Lue).

We’ve got your back, Coach. More than you know. 

Koby Altman, get busy on those phones.

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New Orleans Pelicans  84
Dallas Mavericks  130

Unimpressive. Damned unimpressive. Flat out embarrassing, Not one player for the New Orleans Pelicans scored more than J.J. Redick’s team high 15 points. The flatness of effort and play led to the Pelicans’ worst showing in franchise history, beaten by 46 points, en route to their eighth straight loss. The players that played and head coach Alvin Gentry ought to write checks back to the team’s front office after that performance. At least Mavericks fans got what they paid for.

PELICANS (6-17)MAVERICKS (16-6)
J.J. Redick
15 points – two rebounds – one assist
Luka Doncic
26 points – six rebounds – nine assists – one steal
Brandon Ingram
14 points – four rebounds – two assists
Boban Marjanovic
15 points – 16 rebounds – two assists – two blocks
Jrue Holiday
14 points – three rebounds – four assists
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
14 points – three rebounds – three assists – one steal

NEXT UP
Kings at Mavericks – Tonight
Pistons at Pelicans – Tuesday

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Indiana Pacers  104
New York Knicks  103

Myles Turner may not have had the biggest stat line, but his last two blocks – mere seconds apart in the waning seconds of last night’s game against the New York Knicks – were the biggest stats of the game for the Indiana big man. Meanwhile, the biggest two free throws of Julius Randle’s career as a Knick thus far fell short as he only hit the front end of two to give the Pacers their 15th win of the season and the Knicks their 19th loss a day after firing David Fizdale.

PACERS (15-8)KNICKS (4-19)
T.J. Warren
25 points – four rebounds – one steal – one block
Marcus Morris
25 points – three rebounds – one assist – one steal
Domantas Sabonis
19 points – 15 rebounds – two assists – one steal – two blocks
Julius Randle
16 points – 12 rebounds – three assists – one steal
Doug McDermott
16 points – two rebounds – three assists – one block
Mitchell Robinson
14 points – seven rebounds – one assist – two steals – three blocks

NEXT UP
Clippers at Pacers – Tuesday
Knicks at Blazers – Tuesday

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Cleveland Cavaliers  94
Philadelphia 76ers  141

In what seems like a full blown revolt, the Cleveland Cavaliers laid it down and let the Philadelphia 76ers walk all over them last night in a 47 points Philadelphia massacre. It was a nice breakout night for Trey Burke (stats below) as Joel Embiid sat out with a left hip contusion and #VFL Josh Richardson sat out his fifth game with a right hamstring issue.

CAVALIERS (5-17)SIXERS (16-7)
Darius Garland
17 points – five rebounds – three assists
Ben Simmons
34 points – three rebounds – seven assists – two steals – two blocks
Tristan Thompson
12 points – three rebounds – four assists
Mike Scott
21 points – six rebounds – two assists
Jordan Clarkson
10 points – three rebounds – one assist
Trey Burke
21 points – two rebounds – eight assists – four steals

NEXT UP
Raptors at Sixers – Tonight
Cavaliers at Celtics – Monday

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Phoenix Suns  109
Houston Rockets  115

Russell Westbrook had his third consecutive triple double last night (sixth of the season), and the Houston Rockets continue to get Ben McLemore involved in their offensive schemes, leading to another Houston win, this time at the expense of Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns, who continue to bubble under .500 after starting the season stronger than expected.

SUNS (10-12)ROCKETS (15-7)
Devin Booker
35 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal
James Harden
34 points – six rebounds – four assists – three steals – one block
Kelly Oubre, Jr.
19 points – five rebounds – one block
Ben McLemore
27 points – two rebounds – one steal
Mikal Bridges
14 points – five rebounds – one assist – one steal
Russell Westbrook
24 points – 14 rebounds – 11 assists – two steals – two blocks

NEXT UP
Timberwolves at Suns – Monday
Kings at Rockets – Monday

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Memphis Grizzlies  112
Utah Jazz  126

No Mike Conley. No Ja Morant. But seven Jazz players scoring in double digits to subdue the Memphis Grizzlies and send them to their 16th loss of the season, while the Jazz won their 13th to remain in the sixth place position in the Western Conference last night in Salt Lake City. A 37-18 second quarter propelled the Jazz to the win.

GRIZZLIES (6-16)JAZZ (13-10)
Jaren Jackson, Jr.
26 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block
Donovan Mitchell
22 points – four rebounds – three assists
Jae Crowder
13 points – two rebounds – three assists – three steals
Rudy Gobert
19 points – 11 rebounds – five assists
Grayson Allen
13 points – two rebounds – one assist – one steal
Bojan Bogdanovic
19 points – six rebounds – two assists

NEXT UP
Grizzlies at Warriors – Monday
Thunder at Jazz – Tuesday

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SUNDAY’S LINEUP / MY PICK ‘EMS
Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets – 3 p.m. EST – YES
Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets – 5 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat – 6 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Chicago
Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers – 6 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Philadelphia
Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards – 6 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Washington
Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks – 7 p.m. EST – NBC Sports California
Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trailblazers – 9 p.m. EST – Fox SportsNet Oklahoma
Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers – 9:30 p.m. EST – Spectrum SportsNet

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The Rundown w/T-Money is a daily column “all things NBA” that will run through the entirety of the season, and the playoffs through the NBA Finals
Tracy Graven is a Senior Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
He has written the NBA for the last two decades and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 20 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City.
He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife and five children.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia 

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