Cavs / Twolves Game Blog…Cavs “afraid to win late” and don’t as they lose 98-97

In the end on Sunday, the Cavaliers were as close as Jawad Williams is in the picture below to grabbing the ball, tipping it in, and preventing their 13 loss in the last 14 games.

stepien rules - jawad put back fail 

Photo Credit: Stepien Rules / BB

He’d never actually touch the ball though from best I can tell, and the desperation fall-away-heave from Antawn Jamison that he attempted to put back in the picture above never had a chance of touching the net either seconds earlier. 

Jamison did put the Cavaliers up one with less than 10 seconds to go though, but then he’d play “defense” like this on Micheal Beasley who’d dribble straight to the hoop for what would prove to be enough for the W (Beasley finished with 28, 6 and 1 on 10 of 25 shooting from the field).  

http://youtube.com/watch?v=

h_0QPr5V3vM[/youtube]

Jamsion would’ve probably been better served just taking off to the other end of the court cherry picker style and attempting to catch a length of the floor inbounds pass off that lay-up they let Beasley have, but they don’t do that kind of thing in the NBA.  I didn’t think they played that type of defense either with the game on the line, but I guess it happens sometimes.  

With the Cavaliers up double digit points late though, this game should’ve obviously never come down to being decided by either of those plays.  Up 10 and 12 points with 2 and 3 minutes to go at home, you really have to know how to lose to drop a game like the Cavs dropped tonight.  Which is probably why it stung so much.

Byron Scott said postgame that this latest loss “stings more than the others this season.”  Mo Williams would go on to echo those same sentiments.

Said Scott: “It was almost like we were afraid to win late in the game.” 

More from Byron Scott’s postgame presser is below:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=

Czzyzt63aHs[/youtube]

Mo would follow Byron up postgame by saing:

“This one probably hurts the most out of all the losses this year.”
  He would also add in regards to the final possesion:  “We thought Kevin Love had some contact.”  

Video from Mo’s postgame presser is below:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=

9OqBlMq96BI[/youtube]

From the Minnesota side, Kurt Rambis said postgame of that eventual game winner by Beasley: 

“We just put the ball in his hands and looked for him to make a play.” 

He would do just that, and Minnesota (7-24) would get the win.  

If you found a bookie taking action on the Over/Under 17 Rebounds for Kevin Love I set pregame though – and bet the over – you would’ve got the win too.  Love finished with 18 rebounds to go along with 16 points.

Luke Ridenour finished with 23-5-6 for the Twolves as well – ummm that’s not a normal night, is it? – and on the flip side of that match-up Mo finished with 17 points and 10 assists.  Jamison had a team-high 24 and Anthony Parker scored 21 points to go with 7 dimes of his own (nice game AP).  

J.J. Hickson only played 12 minutes but did manage 11 points and 5 rebounds while he was out there. 

Jawad Williams finished with 9 points, and said when asked how close he was to that final put-back:

“I was very close.  I don’t know who hit me, maybe it was a teammate, but somebody did and I missed it.”

Cavs missed it too, they won’t get many chances like this to win games this season. 

Nothing says holiday fun like a day after Christmas game featuring two teams with a combined record of 14-45.  Cavs (8-21) welcomed Kevin Love and the T-Wolves (6-24) tonight in a match-up where somebody has to win because they can’t possibly both lose this one.

For whatever reason, I was still kinda pumped for the game though I must admit (I need help, probably).  Anyways, I first watched Minnesota walk onto the court prior to tip-off and took video of it if you’re interested:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=

7mmz1bPmgaE[/youtube]

Now before I get to some game related thoughts, I was initially shocked to find out that I am in fact actually taller than Jonny Flynn.  I’m not tall, but I swear I had upwards of an entire inch on him…he’s probably quicker than me though, but I didn’t have my Reebok Pumps on so we didn’t race and there’s know way I know that for sure…I’ll assume he is for now.

First Half Thoughts (Cavs 49 / Twolves 51): 

Daniel Gibson didn’t play tonight due to “flu like symptoms” so as a result Jamario Moon was reinserted into the starting line-up.  Moon opened the game on fire hitting the rim twice, but still ended up 0 of 2 from the floor for 0 points in the first quarter.  He did score twice in the 2nd quarter though, and finished with (4) for the half.

Mo Williams, however (and as a sidenote: I would like to again voice my personal request to stop the use of “Gotti” as Mo Williams’ last name for pregame intros – very tired, very played) came out feeling it some.  Maurice went 4 of 5 for the quarter, scoring 11 and helping the Cavs jump out to an 11-point 1st Q lead (28-17).  Jamison also 9 in the first quarter on 4 of 7 from the floor, and Beasley – who I still think will one day be an All Star caliber player in this league had (9) to lead all Wolves in the first.

The 11-point lead would not hold long however, and when Moon Dog took the floor with the Hot Dog launcher during a break in action with 6:54 left in the 2nd, the lead was down to two (33-31).  Beasley would score his 17th point of the half right after the break, tie it at 33, and B-Easy finished with an All Star looking (22 points) to lead all scorers at the break. 

Mo Williams has 15 points to lead all Cavaliers at the break, and Jamison scored once in the 2nd Quarter to finish the half with 11.  Ramon Sessions got extended minutes tonight (maybe due to the fact that his name has been mentioned as being on the Knicks radar / probably more actually because Gibson is out) and finished the half with 3 points in about 9 minutes of work.

Kevin Love came into tonight’s game averaging 15.8 rebounds over the last 5, and anticipating a high volume of missed shots tonight, I set the over under pregame at 17-boards for him tonight.  He has (8) rebounds at the half along with (2) points.

Anderson Varejao has more boards right now though, team and game high 9 for the Cavs right now.  AP leads Cavs in assists with (4).

Oh, and for what it’s worth, this crowd tonight at the Q in no way looked or sounded like a fanbase paying money earned in a brutal economy to watch their 8-21 team struggle to beat compete with a visiting 6-24 one.  

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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