After tonights 106-77 loss at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cavs record dropped to 7-17, including an 8 game skid that has no end in sight. More troubling than the losing streak, more troubling than the lopsided defeats and abysmal effort all around, save Anderson Varejao. More troubling than any of the possible bad things that have happened to this team so far this season, is the post-game comments by JJ Hickson and coach Byron Scott.
To summarize what happened, Byron Scott gave some, let’s say, less than complimentary comments about the effort of the team. Somewhere along the lines of, being sorry for Varejao for being the only guy who tries. And making the comment that once the starters left the court, the team quickly becomes hopeless. This is disheartening to hear the coach say. But what compounds the issue as far as I am concerned, are JJ Hicksons words in response. “Oh so he’s blaming it on the bench? If he feels that way then, that’s the way he feels. That’s his opinion. ”
I take issue with this for two reasons. One, it would behoove players not to undermine their coach in the press. But that is the minor issue. The real issue is: does this happening after tonights loss strike anyone else as possibly showing that the team is fractured? The team doesn’t seem to have unity on the court (from what I can tell from limited access to viewing this years team), and they don’t seem to have much cohesion off it either. It looks like the team is splitting apart, possibly starting down the most popular path in sports this year. Quitting.
Yes, it hurts to think about. It is something you never want to entertain the possibility of. But the Cavs this year are showing all the signs of a team quitting on their coach. They lack effort, in the NBA it shows in a few areas, rebounds, assists and obviously in the win column. The players are making comments like the one JJ gave earlier this evening. It shows a lack of respect. The team doesn’t seem to be fitting Byron Scotts system the way they looked like they might early in the season and in the preseason. And the biggest most obvious of all. The team isn’t winning. We expected a drop off in W’s heading into the season, but being blown out more nights than not was not on my radar, and I’m sure not that many people expected nights like tonight where the team leader in points managed a staggering 12. And overall the team had just 2 players over 10 points, had 11 assists as a team, and if you discount the one player who actually gives a shit, the team has a total of 29 rebounds (I took away Andy’s 16 from the total because he has been showing the effort that nobody else has had, total the team had 45 with Andys work).
This might just have been a way to blow off steam after a pathetic few games from the Cavs, and throw in a disappointing Browns game and I might just be venting. But I can’t pretend I don’t see the signs of a team that is tearing apart at the seams.