The Cleveland Cavaliers show exactly who they are at a loss by playing with the Brooklyn Nets – including defects

BROOKLYN, NY – Darius Garland, WDRFA written across the chest – enters the Barclays Center wearing a five-letter white hood.

We do not run from misery.

This is the mood of the Cleveland Cavaliers all season. Why should this change before the play-off match?

It does not matter that Carland’s first career came two hours after the NBA post – season game. Waiting for a pair of ruthless superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to show the stark difference between the postseason and the regular season is not important. Along with 18 members of the big ESPN staff to win Tuesday morning’s game preview, it did not matter that Caves entered the night eight points behind. It didn’t matter that All-Star center Jared Allen was out in the 19th straight game, it damaged Cleveland’s chances – not being able to pass due to not having much in a season.

Garland did not run. He did not back down. It is not in his DNA. Recently referring to the Cavaliers as a formidable foe, the attractive young man confidently entered the Lion’s Cave and carried with him the team’s playoff hopes.

The first quarter was devastating. With more excitement and variety, fewer men and inexperienced Caves gave up 40 points, thus allowing the Nets to shoot 70.8% off the field.

At the end of those 12 minutes, Cleveland was 20 points behind. Barclays Center throbbed. The boom songs of Brooke-Lynn, Brooke-Lynn, and Brooke-Lynn echoed – an honest playoff-like situation.

On the road. In a deep pit. Playing against a talented team named as one of the Eastern Conference favorites. The script could not have had a bad start. More suffering.

But Caves is one of the league’s biggest surprises for a reason. It is a special, heartfelt, united, hard-working team. Even at a loss, Tuesday showed exactly who Cleveland is – including flaws.

Following the 115-108 defeat, Caves coach JP Pickerstaff said, “We’ll continue to talk about this, and we need to learn from that experience.” Before we could flip the switch, we bumped into each other a little bit. Understanding these moments and finding your peace and your balance is part of our learning process. We took a while to get there.

Before the game, Pickerstaff was asked what the Caves needed from Garland.

“Everything,” he said.

Garland gave it up and wiped out another bar during this third year leap. The stage was set, the spotlight shone and as the basketball world watched, Garland looked like a star, scoring 34 off 13-24 from the field and 39 off the 3-off-6 3-point line. . Garland scored 24 in the second half. He started the fourth quarter with nine straight points and finished the fourth game with 16 runs, which led to a frantic late game defeat.

“I thought he found his way in the first quarter,” Pickerstaff said of Garland. “But while the game was going on, he settled in and he was the one we needed. I think at one point we reduced it to 5, a lot of which was on his back. He knows when, what we need, and how to go about getting it. He figured out that part of the game and what his team needed from him. He learns, I expect he will be better on Friday.

Relax, Carland had six sales. But the loss was not enough for him. Garland did not get enough help.

Evan Mobley looked comfortable and uncluttered. He contributed 19 points in 9-off-13 shooting with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Veteran Kevin Love, with 63 career playoff appearances, provided the much-needed lift off the bench. Love scored 14 points and captured 13 boards. With Love on the Floor in 29 minutes, Cleveland beat Brooklyn by 10 points in 29 minutes. Pickerstaff should have played him more.

Backup point guard Rajon Rondo made his replacement ego “Playoff Rondo”. He finished with seven points and nine assists in 26 minutes, the fourth-highest of all season.

“It was between me and ‘putting everyone together,” Love said. “For this team, we don’t need it much, but in this kind of situation where everything is so high, at every meeting we were at, we wanted to make sure we were talking and keeping in touch.”

But Cleveland got nowhere else. Carris Levert, who took over the trading deadline brought in for his scoring prowess, missed eight of his first nine shots. LeVert finished with 12 points in 4-of-12 from 40 minutes off the field, giving up many draft choices including the lottery-secured first-rounder which was not the kind of production the front office had imagined.

Second year swingman Isaac Okoro was unable to play. Nets left him open several times and used that extra guard to collect the paint and stop Carland. It was no coincidence that most of Garland’s scores came in the second half – Okoro played four minutes before he was subdued for Rondo.

Brooklyn’s two main point-of-attack defenders, Irving and Bruce Brown, were in trouble for part of the second half as Garland talked about more attack on the switches. It allowed Garland to take advantage of the incompatibility and go into the basket without much resistance.

But there was another part of the equation. Without Okoro, the floor would have stretched. Garland had more room to drive. Along with the secondary creator he can often play ball.

Okoro’s worst state line: Zero points, three missed shots, one rebound, one assist and two errors in 13 minutes.

Larry Markanen was unexpectedly chased at the defensive end, 13 points in 14 of 5 shots and 1-of-4 from depth. Chedi Osman missed all four of his attempts. Wouldn’t it have been nice for Cleveland if Colin Sexton had a bucket-getting combo card that stood in the baseline for most of that game on that menopausally repaired menopause?

Friday night Cavs need more consistent offense. From all of those guys. Otherwise, they will face a second straight defeat, especially if the defense is vulnerable.

Allen’s return will alleviate some of the problems. He is constantly advancing, able to use the left hand – the middle finger fractured hand during intense exercise. But one source sees Friday as a 50-50 proposal. Caves can’t push Allen into the playoffs. As Tuesday night showed, Garland’s best may not be enough.

Pickerstaff can fix that quickly. The loops may be tight. The minutes were better managed. The Cavs believe there is adjustment within their control – and the positives from the final three quarters, they marched back down from 22 points and showed significant reluctance to turn into a two-possession game in the final minutes.

“You can’t start the game that way,” Pickerstaff said. “A team with championship aspirations like Brooklyn and championship-winning players cannot give a 22-point lead. Give pride to our comrades to come back to that. But it is almost impossible to overcome.

“We beat ourselves sometimes in the whole game,” Love added. “We dug a big hole. We played three good quarters and we really got that first quarter. There were some things at the end of the attack, we wanted to get back in that first half. But at that end we thought we played well, we had to dig again. Too much.I think we have a lot of good ways when we go home and play a game that will help us win and get inside.

The best change is for others to come forward to help Carland – a rising star who has proven he is ready for the playoffs. Every season is like that. The team-first approach is why the Cows are here.

“Our guys built something very quickly in that locker room, unlike anything I’ve seen since I was in the league,” Pickerstaff said. “For those who do not see us or do not see us, you see the joy, interest and spirit that our comrades play, it’s about the team. We do not have a guy who puts himself on top of the team. , Because they know what the team needs and that is what they are going to help the team with.

“When you have some guys who are willing to buy something higher than themselves, you give yourself a chance to get some success. Putting that aside, we’re very lucky to have a few guys who decided the team was going to be the most important thing.

Following the game, Carland threw on another WDRFA hoodie. Suffering has come again. Caves’ unexpected dream season is coming up Friday night – all or nothing against the winner of Atlanta and Charlotte.

They did not run.

“Got one more shot at home,” Bickerstaff told cleveland.com. “We know what our potential is and we need to put it together.”

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