Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ embarrassment of a 117-101 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
1. You know that GIF with the burning dumpster fire floating helplessly along in water? Yeah, that’s where your Cavaliers are today.
3. In short, ladies and gentlemen, the Cavs officially stink.
4. You can talk about the young guards, how Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are still finding their way. You can talk about the injuries, or about how that first game back from a long road trip always gets you. You can make every excuse possible, and a few of them may even be legit.
5. But you don’t get run out of your own gym by the Thunder unless something is terribly awry.
6. Sexton (27 points, five rebounds) keeps putting up decent numbers — but are they winning numbers? Garland had a nice line with 21 points and eight assists — but it clearly made no difference. Isaac Okoro is at least shooting more — but doing little else worth mentioning.
7. And you know what? Those three do deserve a pass. They are still awfully inexperienced. But this is also the big leagues, fellas. If you need more time to develop, well, that’s why the G League was invented.
8. You can’t really even blame the players. The front office has put together a roster than may or may not have a single foundational piece.
9. We keep hearing buzzwords like “rebuild” and “growth.” But what are the Cavs building here and how are they growing? It’s more like constantly tearing it down and taking steps back.
10. And if you are going to blame the players, at least place most of your blame on the bench. It scored a whopping nine points. And if you’re going to blame the bench, you can again turn to the front office. Injuries be darned, the bottom line is this is a team without a shred of depth.
11. Other than all that, the Cavs’ 10-game losing streak is nothing with which to concern yourself.
12. Seriously, though. If you’re trying to win games, like you say you are, how do you just decide to sit your starting center? You don’t think a half-hearted Drummond is better than Dean Wade?
13. And where is Love? Did he strain his calf, or have it entirely removed?
14. The Cavs justify some of their decisions by saying it’s all about “the culture.” Well, since they’ve benched Drummond and traded Kevin Porter Jr., things have only gotten worse.
15. Now, we do have to give some credit to Jarrett Allen. Drummond’s replacement finished with 26 points, 17 rebounds and 11-of-11 shooting. He played his heart out at both ends. He’s a keeper.
16. Of course, let’s not forget Allen will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Cavs can match any offer he might receive. But with the way things are going, Allen may beg his way out.
17. Basically, the Cavs (10-21) are way down in the dumps after what was truly an inspiring start. Yet they can still go lower. It’s a long season. They just have to make the decision to pull it together, find some resolve, and decide to start looking like a professional outlet again.
18. It’s still a mystery if they actually have any of that in them. Sometimes, they look like they’ve just given up.
19. Let’s just avoid talking about the defense altogether. Other than perhaps to say nobody outside of Allen is any good at it. Okoro was supposed to be. He was supposed to “make an immediate impact defensively.” He was supposed to “check all the boxes.” Yeah, OK.
20. None of that is Okoro’s fault, by the way. He does have promise and obviously deserves way more time. But he sure ain’t ready today.
21. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff is starting to take some heat, at least from the fans. It’s hard to pin this on him, though. If the roster were put together properly and management showed some stability and a strong desire to win, then Bickerstaff would share a large part of the blame. Right now, he just has very little with which to work. In fact, it seems like everyone is working against him.
22. This loss hardly determines the season. There are still 41 more to go. People can get healthy, corrections can be executed, Drummond can be traded and reinforcements can be found.
23. But all you can do is go by what you’ve seen lately, and when it comes to the Cavs today, it’s probably better to just not watch.