Five Thoughts from the Cavs – Nets Game

A breakdown of the Cavs performance

Last night, the Cavs played against the Brooklyn Nets in the final game before the All-Star Break. In a triple-overtime thriller, the Cavs lost by a final score of 148 – 139. At points, the Cavs had a sizable lead, but in the end, they could not pull off the victory. Here are five thoughts from the game:

1. Marquese Chriss Just Needed Playing Time

Chriss was recently acquired by the Cavs along with Brandon Knight and draft picks in a trade from the Houston Rockets for Alec Burks. In 27 minutes, he scored 23 points included a few important three pointers in the 2ndovertime period and a monster dunk. Given the opportunity to play since joining the Cavs, he has played well, with last night’s being his best game.

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2. Jordan Clarkson Should Be Playing Less Important Minutes

I know this may not be a popular opinion as Clarkson is the Cavs’ leading scorer this season and had over 40 points in this game, but when it mattered most, Clarkson missed his shots and had some turnovers. He does not play fundamental basketball and at times last night, it hurt the Cavs. Not that the other options were necessarily better, but every time he touched the ball, I cringed at what would happen next.

3. The Cavs are a “Closer” Away from Consistent Winning

I know we usually complain about the Indians’ Closer situation, but the Cavs could have used someone to close out the game. This is where LeBron and Kyrie used to shine. Collin Sexton may become that player with the “Closer” mentality, but he is not there yet. This is not an indictment on Sexton; he is still developing and he did have a nice game.

4. Silly Early Fouls Hurt the Cavs

Marquese Chriss and Larry Nance Jr. had nice games, but they fouled out and it greatly hurt the team down the stretch. Additionally, David Nwaba and Ante Zizic also fouled out. Earlier Chriss’ stats were mentioned. As for the other three who fouled out, Nance led the Cavs with 14 rebounds; Nwaba played well on the defensive end of the floor and Zizic had six points and six rebounds. Had they refrained from early fouls, they would have still been available late and maybe the game would have gone in favor of the Cavs.

5. The Future is Bright

While the present may have many fans upset, there is no doubt that the future will be special. Whether the Cavs end up with Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett or Ja Morant in the upcoming draft, plus whoever they draft later with the Houston pick, there are pieces on the Cavs to build around. Most importantly, a game like last night’s where the team played hard and kept fighting back, shows me that they will be just fine in the long run.

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