What We Learned: Cavs vs Rockets

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bleacherreport.com
bleacherreport.com

The Cavs played their best game without LeBron, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Houston Rockets. There’s no rest for the weary. The road for the Cavs only gets tougher from here as they start their west coast swing. Here’s what we learned from this one.

 LeBron said he could’ve played if it was a playoff game. I respect the honesty, but probably not the best thing to say at this point. Especially during a tough 3 game losing streak that could be up to 6 or 7 by the time he comes back. LeBron will travel with the team on their 5 game west coast trip. As hard as it is to say, we can’t rush LeBron back into the lineup no matter how bad we need him. It’s important that he’s ready and 100% by the playoffs.

• J.R. Smith can play 17 minutes and not score. He ended the game 0-5 from the field. We’ll give him a pass on his first game. You have to give him time to settle in and learn how to play with his new teammates. Dion Waiters did score in his first game in OKC though. Just saying. And two of those were half court shots, at least he’s not worried about his percentage! He showed some intensity with a couple dives to the floor in pursue of the ball, so overall, it wasn’t a terrible debut.

• Kyrie can’t do it all himself. Kyrie was able to carry the Cavs the first 3 quarters, but he couldn’t keep it going. He ended the game with 38/3/2, with only 4 in the fourth quarter. There were only 2 other Cavs with double digits in scoring. C’mon guys. Someone has to give him some help.

• Kevin Love has to play better than this with or with out LeBron out. I know you can’t expect him to score 30 points a game, but he needs to do better than he did Wednesday. He had 17 points on 7-19 shooting. He was thrown around in the paint by Howard and Motiejunas. It just wasn’t a good day for Love. The addition of Mozgov should help Love’s game, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Mozgov resembles Nikola Pekovic, who was the Center and teammate of Love’s in Minnesota. A big body down low who doesn’t give up his ground. Things should be looking up for Kevin Love.

• The Mozgov trade came one day too late. The Cavs could’ve used him out there against the Rockets. Dwight Howard got 10 offensive rebounds off us! 10! There’s no excuse for that. No matter who it is. You can’t give up 10 offensive rebounds to one player and expect to win. The Rockets finished the game with 19 offensive rebounds. If the Cavs could’ve got a couple of those boards, we could’ve won. We already knew that Love and Thompson couldn’t handle the responsibility of locking down the center position. The Cavs were completely dominated in the paint again against the Rockets. Hopefully this is the last time I have to write this after a Cavs game. Help is finally on the way. Good luck Mozgov. You have your work cut out for you.

Rockets 105, Cavaliers 93 – James Harden scored 21 points and Dwight Howard grabbed 19 rebounds as Houston handed the Cavaliers their 3rd straight loss. Kyrie Irving had 38 points in the loss.

@CST_JacksonF

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