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Battle against the Cavs

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (26-52) at Cleveland Cavaliers (24-53)
  • Date: April 10, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons finally exercised some demons. Kind of.

They defeated the Chicago Bulls on April 7 by double figures after losing back-to-back games. The Bulls might be headed to the postseason, but the Pistons weakened their division rivals at least for one day.

In keeping up with rivalries, Detroit will be at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight in a head-to-head battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There are certain teams in sports that manage wins no matter how improbable it may seem. Regardless of the deficit, they find ways to just grind the game out and eventually come out victorious.

When Karl Malone and John Stockton played for the Utah Jazz late in their careers, they had that ability. The same can be said about Michael Jordan’s Bulls late in his run.

Those teams exhibited a tremendous amount of mental toughness. Regardless of the circumstances, they never got rattled.

The 2012-13 Cleveland Cavaliers are the exact opposite. Regardless of the size of their lead, it always feels like the other shoe is about to drop. Byron Scott’s team has displayed their youth on far too many occasions this season.

Whether at home or on the road, they have this perplexing tendency of getting comfortable with leads. And once they get punched in the mouth, they rarely recover.

The Cavs’ late game execution is suspect at best and this also ties into their inability to comfortably win games going away. When opponents go on runs and make the contest tight late, Kyrie Irving and company fall apart.

It’s quite intriguing really. Irving is third in total clutch (defined as last five minutes of a game with scoring margin within five points) scoring in the NBA this season.

The Cavaliers’ defense just hasn’t been up to par this year, and Irving’s teammates struggle in providing him any form of relief late in ball games. Cleveland’s execution is poor and they rely far too much on Irving’s one-on-one skills.

Take last night’s defeat against the Indiana Pacers as an example. The Cavs held a huge lead entering the fourth quarter but the Pacers fought back and took the lead late.

The Cavs offense faltered but they still had a decent shot late. Trailing the Pacers by two points, the former Blue Devil got into the lane and scored while drawing a foul. A great play all around except for one thing: the foul call was a charge.

Ball game.

These issues are far more obvious when the Cavs’ star is out of the lineup. On March 27, Cleveland had a one-point lead at home against the Boston Celtics and self-destructed.

Shaun Livingston dribbled down the entire shot clock and pulled up for a terrible mid-range jumper that clanked off the rim. The Celtics recovered the ball and scored off an inbounds play with Jeff Green getting a layup (!) to win the game.

Prior to that, Cleveland held a 27-point lead at home against the Miami Heat and shot themselves in the foot.

Regardless of time and score, if Lawrence Frank and company simply play their brand of basketball and impose their will on the young Cavs, they might force them into wilting.

Granted, it’s obviously easier said than done. After all, both teams have similar records.

Read about the Cavs

Cavs the Blog.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

38 Comments

  • Apr 10, 20136:30 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Knight will drop 40 on the Cavs and Irving!

    • Apr 10, 20136:35 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Are you talking in the third person again BK7?

      • Apr 10, 20136:52 pm
        by Brandon Knight

        Reply

        hahah Maybe!

        • Apr 10, 20137:51 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          How’s that 40 points being dropped on Irving going?? He has played the most minutes of anyone on the team and he is like 0-4 for 0 pts. I’ll give him props though in that he also has 0 turnovers…baby steps :-)

    • Apr 10, 20139:03 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Hey Knight’s only got 33 points to go before he drops 40. I wonder who’s fault it will be that he didn’t get there…hmmmm maybe it was the dancing usher.

      • Apr 10, 20139:57 pm
        by Brandon Knight

        Reply

        We ran our offense through our bigs tonight. So Knight didn’t get a chance! 

        • Apr 10, 201310:33 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          That explains the 2-11 shooting pretty well.

    • Apr 10, 20139:46 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Hey, he may not have hit 40, but at least his FG% and assist numbers were low.

  • Apr 10, 20136:33 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Surly we’ll win this game right? I guess we’ll see who wants the more lottery odds. I’d also like to point out that this would be a great game to start Middleton to see how he goes. It would be a win win situation in my opinion. Thoughts??

    • Apr 10, 20136:57 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      Oh yeah that’s what I was thinking. We definitely should start Middleton and let him play 30+ minutes. Let’s see what he can do!
       

    • Apr 10, 20136:58 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      This guy reminds me of Kevin Durant! His body and his form!

      • Apr 10, 20137:55 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        That would make Middleton, Durant 3.0 because Austin Daye is Durant 2.0. We all know how that turned out.

        • Apr 10, 20138:12 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I bow to you good sir. Excellent response.

          • Apr 10, 20138:33 pm
            by gmehl

            Hey if he tee’s them up then i’ll happily take a swing :-)

        • Apr 10, 20139:52 pm
          by Brandon Knight

          Reply

          I didn’t say he’s Kevin Durant. I said his body and shooting form reminds me of Kevin Durant! BTW which idiot said Austin Daye is Kevin Durant 2.0. !??

          • Apr 11, 201312:10 am
            by oats

            You’ve obviously not been here as long as me and gmehl. There were a couple guys making those comparisons for Daye’s first few years, and it wasn’t just here. They popped up really frequently on TrueBluePistons, and there were multiple mailbag readers telling Langlois that Austin Daye was an unpolished Kevin Durant. Daye’s length and good outside shooting made it exactly as natural as your Middleton comparison. The Daye comparison might make more sense in some regards in that Middleton has not shown he can be a good 3 point shooter.

  • Apr 10, 20138:41 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    BENCH DRUMMOND! we trying to lose games

  • Apr 10, 20139:19 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    So we finally get a good look at Hack-a-Drummond. He’s gonna have to hit at least 50% of his free throws if he wants to stay on the floor on offense.

  • Apr 10, 20139:37 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Drummond is a beast! Our bigs tonight were fantastic! Old school moves by Monroe were fun to watch!

  • Apr 10, 20139:38 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Wow we only had 5 turnovers for the whole game. I’m assuming that’s a season low for us and I was wondering when was the last time we only had that many or less in a game. Does anyone know or is this something i can find out on basketballreference..com

  • Apr 10, 20139:39 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Wow we only had 5 turnovers for the whole game. I’m assuming that’s a season low for us and I was wondering when was the last time we only had that many or less in a game. Does anyone know or is this something i can find out on basketballreference.com

  • Apr 10, 20139:43 pm
    by sloppy joe

    Reply

    7 words you thought you would never hear: Drummond’s foul shooting won us that game

    • Apr 10, 20139:47 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      Hahaha true! 

    • Apr 10, 20139:52 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      To be fair, it was more his shooting from the field that won the game.

    • Apr 10, 201310:02 pm
      by PG

      Reply

      Lol that would teach that awful team a lesson.

  • Apr 10, 20139:45 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    painful win

    • Apr 10, 20139:47 pm
      by Worm

      Reply

      I can honestly say I’m pretty upset. Only silver lining is Drummond.

      • Apr 10, 201310:03 pm
        by PG

        Reply

        And we swept the Cavs. lol.

    • Apr 10, 201310:04 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Lol@ Painful win…well atleast we win because bynum came off the bench and dropped 30 … we were led by our twin towers

  • Apr 10, 20139:50 pm
    by sloppy joe

    Reply

    How many players have been streaky for their first few seasons and went on to be solid to great NBA players?   None that I can think of.  Stuckey has been streaky his whole career. Knight walking down same path.  Let’s cut our losses.  Once a streaky player always a streaky player.

    • Apr 10, 201310:12 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      If you’re really meaning their first couple years, then the answer is actually a lot. Durant was incredibly streaky his first year. Bosh wasn’t nearly as good as a rookie, Melo too. Westbrook was streaky both of his first two years.
       
      Now, if you’re asking how many players have started out there careers as patently bad as Knight has been and turned out to be great, the answer would be a lot closer to zero. It’s not that Knight has been streaky, it’s that he’s been consistently bad over time.

    • Apr 10, 201310:15 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      I agree with you but streaky players are good to have as weapons, but not starters, unless it’s your 5th man

  • Apr 10, 201310:13 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    Side note: 9 of 17 from the free throw line is over 50%. Maybe Drummond really just needs more shots to find his rhythm.

  • Apr 10, 201310:25 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    Nobody should be mad that the Pistons won tonite. The only team that can beat the cavaliers at tanking are the bobcats lol.

    • Apr 10, 201310:37 pm
      by Worm

      Reply

      They are absolutely pros at it and it is infuriating… you can’t convince me that Thompson’s off-ball foul wasn’t a ploy by Scott to lose this game!!!

  • Apr 10, 201311:13 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    I remember the year Cleveland tanked for Lebron. When Rickey Davis shot in the other basket on purpose smh.

    • Apr 11, 201312:04 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Davis was trying for a rebound to get a triple double. He shot at the other basket on purpose. He wasn’t trying to make a shot on the wrong basket and it had nothing to do with tanking.

  • Apr 11, 201312:18 am
    by Jacob

    Reply

    I will say though the Cavs are really good at losing. They remind me of that South Park episode where Randy fights other dads in the stands and every team is trying to lose so they don’t have to play baseball all summer!

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