The Cavs have been in so many of these games. Of course, they blew a 17-point deficit to put themselves in it on Sunday. Still, Kyrie Irving said it best afterward: The Cavs just need to "close out games better."
You’d think they would know that by know, but admitting your problem is the first step. The next is actually going out and doing it.
And it’s not as if the Cavs are short on guys who really do want to win.
Irving (27 points, nine assists) and Tristan Thompson (17 points, 12 rebounds) played their guts out, with each making the type of winning plays that can make you believe. The same goes, not surprisingly, for Anderson Varejao (12 boards). Even C.J. Miles got in on it, shooting 3-of-6 in the first half, then again in the second, for 17 points.
Yes, Dion Waiters (3-of-15 shooting) was mostly miserable. But he plays with an edge the Cavs desperately need. He just couldn’t make a shot.
And, hey, we may have witnessed another (brief) Anthony Bennett sighting.
None of this is to excuse anything or to try to paint a pretty picture. Guts ain’t enough. You have to play smart. You have to give maximum effort and hustle on the majority of possessions — and most definitely at crunch time.
The majority of this group and its key members are now in their second straight season of not doing it nearly enough. That’s troubling.