In a game billed as Kyrie vs Rose, there was nothing more than a skirmish between the big 2 and a sloppy game around them. Kyrie again appeared uninspired and did not work hard enough on the defensive end to bother Rose. Luckily, Rose is not exactly Rose yet so the final stats did not clearly define Kyrie’s lackluster effort. As often happens, when a few shots fall in the fourth quarter he made a more clear effort to defend and the entire team put some temporary pressure on the Bulls. It was during that time that, if the offense had any flow at all, the Cavs might have broken through and taken control of the game. But the resistance was short lived and the results predictable. The Bulls pulled away in the closing minutes and another road “L” was the result.
I don’t feel the entire game was worthless because the Cavs got some valuable “practice time” with Andrew Bynum in the starting lineup for the first time this year. It is obvious that the Cavs do not yet know how to play with a post player and Bynum has only a little feel for the players around him. If that was the biggest negative about this game, it wouldn’t be a negative. It is expected and will take time. But I saw flashes of what Bynum can mean to an offense once he gets comfortable.
There were some decent individual efforts by TT and Waiters, who both played defense more aggressively than most of the rest of the team. Andy gave good effort as did Bynum to be honest. Both were chasing some guards on the top when they had to from switching. There was not much else to cheer about in the Bulls game. I was happy the Cavs kept it close until about 5 minutes left, but I am not sure if that was a function of the Bulls or the Cavs. The Bulls obviously have some catching up to do with Rose back on the court. They will be better going forward for sure.
Here is the surprising thing about what I saw tonight. If the Cavs play with this same intensity against the TWolves, they will lose by 20+ points in a blowout. I am not looking forward to that so I will remain confident that the Cavs will find a way to dig in and play hard.
The Cavs are still in trouble!!! I’ll be watching for signs of life going forward. I love this team and believe they can find a way to overcome this if Kyrie leads the defense forward.