When you are down and out, playing like crap, frustrated by your lack of defense, the only thing that can cure your ills is a meeting with the New York Knicks. That's unless you are listless Cleveland Cavaliers. They have their team back at full strength. The same team that won 50 games and the Eastern Conference last year. Doesn't that seem like it happened 10 years ago?
Mike Brown prides himself on his team's tough defense. How's that going so far Mike? I actually feel sorry for him because it seems as though his players have forgotten how to play on the end of the basketball court dubbed "most important" by their coach. Last night in New York, the Knicks dropped 108 points on the Cavs and won by 18. 15 times in their 26 games this year the opponent's have hit the century mark. Worst of all, they aren't looking like they have gotten any better since Lebron's return.
They were blown out of the Garden by the sad-sack Knicks who's fans held a "Dump Isiah" rally outside the World's Most Famous Arena earlier in the day. None of that mattered to the Knicks who decided to show up and shoot 56% from the field including 8-17 from deep. David Lee came off the bench for 22 and 11 boards and showed Anderson Varajao what a real energy guy off the bench plays like offensively. But the Cavs were in full Roger Dorn "ole" defense mode all night long.
''We think it is going to be easy, like we can show up and win the game, said coach Brown. ''If guys on our team think we defended tonight, we're going to be in trouble.'' Even the angry Lebron, who walked right past Mike Brown and bumped him on his way to the bench during the fourth quarter, is angered by the lack of D. ''They beat us pretty bad; we had no answer for them defensively and they took advantage of it,'' James said. ''It doesn't matter who you are playing against, if you don't play defense you're going to get beat up.''
Brown's last quote was spot-on. ''When you are inconsistent defensively you are a below-.500 team and that's where we are,'' Brown said. ''We have to want to bring it every night as a group; right now we're not on the right track.'' Does anyone think this current roster is built for another deep run? Right now, you can say unequivocally the Celtics, Pistons, Magic, and Raptors are better. The rest of the East teams are all in the Cavs boat, underachieving or just plain bad.
Meanwhile, the red hot Lakers come to town where MTAC spies may or may not be courtside tonight. Knowing the way the Cavs go up and down, they will come out and hold the Lakers to 80 points and win by 10. Somehow, I doubt it.
Cavs Suffer Embarrassing Loss - Brian Windhorst, Akron Beacon-Journal
No Defending this Cavaliers Loss - Branson Wright, Cleveland Plain Dealer