Cleveland Cavaliers: Loss Was Expected Against Golden State Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost Monday to the Golden State Warriors, 126-91.  In a game that meant more to the Warriors than the Cavaliers, does this change the overall opinion of the Cavs?

If you’re a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, there’s no need to worry at all.

If you’re a Golden State Warriors fan, you feel content that you can hang with the Cavaliers, and haven’t completely lost the ability to defeat them. Monday’s 126-91 victory over Cleveland was the ultimate statement win that they needed.

If anything, it showed how dominant the Warriors should be in every game with the talent they have. They had great ball movement on the perimeter and within the post. The passing was so good, guys were being left wide open at times.

I lost count of the times Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were open on attempts. It was just a great scoring night for Golden State. They couldn’t miss from the long range and the Cavaliers’ defense was nonexistent in the paint.

The Warriors shot 50 percent from the field compared to the Cavs’ 35 percent. They also had the same number of attempts from three-point range as the Cavs. Golden State went 15-for-34, while Cleveland was 9-for-34.

However, the biggest discrepancy was in the assists. The Warriors had 37 of them compared to the Cavaliers’ 11.

That clearly shows which team had ball movement and what team went iso for the game. It’s an issue Cleveland needs to fix immediately. It’s been a problem for too long.

In all, the Cavs got outplayed severely in every facet of the game.

On Jan. 18 of last season, the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors by 34, 132-98. Monday, they lost by 35.

After that loss last season,  NBA fans and media were talking about how the Cavaliers were overrated and that they would get swept in the NBA Finals if the two met again.

Well, how did that turn out? It turned into the Cavaliers giving the franchise its first-ever title and the city of Cleveland its first championship in 52 years.

Not bad for losing by 34.

I don’t like making excuses or coming up with any reasons for losses. I’ve always believed that if a team loses a game, it’s because the better team won, no matter what.  But there were a few circumstances in this game which led to the defeat.

For one, the Cavaliers were playing their final game in a six-game West Coast road trip. They were likely playing on fumes and tired legs.

The only thing they’re worried about is coming back home to Cleveland in the comforts of familiar surroundings.

While the acquisition of Kyle Korver has been great, the team hasn’t had enough practices to properly incorporate him within the offense.

There’s a difference including a stand-and-shoot type player compared to a catch-and-shoot player.

For example, Channing Frye is stand-and-shoot. When he comes onto the floor, he’s expected to be on the wings or at the top of the key for an opportunity.  The team doesn’t expect him to run or to make plays off the ball.

With Korver, who is a catch-and-shoot player, the offense has to be tweaked in some areas. Floor spacing has to be changed in order to let him run around the perimeter and through picks and screens set within the post or shoulders.

It’s tough to do that with little practice on the road. He’s even admitted how he still has a lot of the Atlanta Hawks‘ sets still in his head.

I’m not taking anything away from the win by Golden State. It was impressive and it showed they are the superior team in the Western Conference with that win, but it’s hard to take anything from a January game against a tired team that played lethargically and wanted to get back home.

Historically, teams have not done well in the final games of long road trips. There was a study done in 2008 by NBAstuffer.com that showed teams were 32-54 in the last game of road trips of three or more games during that season.

If it was the first game of the road trip and they suffered this loss, then I think fans and the media would have a legitimate concern of the issue with the Cavaliers.

The game isn’t going to decide anything. It’s a regular season game in January that was hyped just like on Christmas Day because of the two best teams in the NBA facing off.

Hopefully the Cavs will take the loss on the chin and move on. But also don’t forget the mockery of Draymond Green, the continued three-point attempts while being up huge and the sound of that arena.

The Cavaliers finally returned to Cleveland on Tuesday and will get a much-needed two days off before facing the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Hopefully, see you in June, Warriors.

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