Houston Rockets @ Cleveland Cavaliers-12-11-19-GAME THREAD

Houston Rockets @ Cleveland Cavaliers-12-11-19-GAME THREAD

  • I might be a little scared to watch this one.

  • Discussion
  • The Rockets are 15-8 but only 6-5 on the road. I'm not predicting a Cavs' win, though. The Rockets are the third oldest team at 29.1 years so they will have no problem pushing around the baby Cavs. This will be another learning opportunity.

    James Harden is averaging 38 ppg. It will not be fun watching him toy with the Cavs' tiny, inexperienced guards who can't really guard anybody, much less this guy.

    The Rockets are second in scoring at 120.4 ppg. I'm expecting 70 points in the first half and they cruise from there. Defensively, the Rockets are indifferent, probably because they don't need to play defense. They rank 24th in opponent's scoring at 115 per game, so maybe we'll see some buckets from the Cavs tonight.

    Nobody believes in the 3-pointer more than the Rockets. They shoot it 50.8% of the time. They shoot more 3's than 2's. What's interesting is they're not that good at it. They rank 25th of 30 in 3-point percentage at 34.1%. They miss tons of 3's and just keep jacking them up. One benefit is they're 3rd in offensive rebound percentage. A lot of those missed 3's bang off the rim for long rebounds that the Rockets pick up and convert to second chance points. For them a missed 3 is not a problem - it's an opportunity.

    If the Cavs want to compete tonight they need to 1) work hard to get a hand up and challenge the 3-point shots, forcing misses, and 2) everybody crash the defensive glass, especially the guards, who need to get to the elbows and grab those long rebounds and run with them. No ball watching.

    The other thing the Cavs need is to get back on defense after turnovers and missed shots. They can't give the Rockets uncontested 3's in transition with the nearest Cavalier watching helplessly from 15 feet away.

    “I feel like we keep ball-watching,” Kevin Porter Jr. said.  “As a team we literally have to get back on defense to stop them from scoring.”

    Wisdom from the mouth of babes.

    The Rockets are 2nd in 2-point shooting percentage, so you almost want them to take 3's. The key is to limit them to one shot when they miss.

    We also need Kevin Love to get off the schneid. Love has scored 9 or fewer points in five of his last six games. I doubt that has ever happened before. Beilein says he's healthy but when has a healthy Love ever scored less than 10 points, much less in 5 of 6 games? If he's not 95% or better he should be sitting until he is. It's not like we're in a playoff drive. Love is hurting the Cavs because he's playing poorly and the Cavs are running the offense through him to start the games, resulting in terrible starts, which is the biggest problem right now.

    " [Tristan] Thompson was asked following shootaround where, specifically, the Cavs needed to make the biggest jump. He didn’t hesitate.

    “The first five minutes of the game,” Thompson said. “The first five minutes sets the tone.”"

    The Cavs need to get off to a better start tonight. If Love isn't OK then they need to sit him until he is. I'd like to see the Cavs use a bigger lineup to try and limit the offensive rebounding by the Rockets. Get Nance and Henson more minutes, which means more length and quickness on the floor. I'd also play Clarkson and Porter more and Garland less. Garland isn't quite ready for the NBA yet.

    This post was edited by PROSECUTOR 1 month ago

  • Just to add this may be a good game for Love to get back on track. The game is at home, they had a day off, and they're playing a team Love usually scores well against. If he's feeling loose then this would be a good game for him to be aggressive offensively.

  • Props for all that and making a sure blowout seem interesting.

  • Maybe we can at least get our offense flowing? Executing against bad defensive teams is a step.

  • JonFromVA said... (original post) Maybe we can at least get our offense flowing? Executing against bad defensive teams is a step.

    Turns out the Rockets aren't that bad. They're 15th in defensive efficiency, which is points allowed per possession by the opponent. They're average. But if you look at points per game they're near the bottom. The only explanation is that their opponents take a lot of shots, which makes sense because the Rockets play fast. They're 6th in shot attempts per game.

    By the way, the Rockets aren't great at rim protection. They're 24th in opponent's points in the paint. Take it to the rim, fellas!

  • The Cavs hung tight.....but too much Harden. However Porter continuing to look like the real steal of the draft.....24 points, 9-15 from the field, 6-9 from three, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.

  • I never thought I'd see a 24-0 Cavs run on anybody, much less the second highest scoring team in the league. That was special. And no starters on the floor when it happened. It was Clarkson, Delly, Porter, Nance and Henson lighting up the Rockets to take an 11-point lead in the 4th quarter. Of course, it was just a matter of time before the other King James stepped in to restore order, but it was fun while it lasted.

    Hardon was godlike, pouring in 55 points including 24 in the fourth quarter, a rate of 96 for a complete game. Just an amazing shooter. He added 8 assists, so he was directly involved in about 80 of the 116 points.

    This was Porter's coming out party with 24 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals. He hit 6 of 9 from deep. His confidence is growing and so is his level of play. Beilein didn't put Garland back in after Porter got going, if I'm not mistaken.

    The Cavs starters were dominated for the second straight game. All five starters were between -11 and -23. Most of that was just being on the floor at the same time as Harden. The subs were all between +5 and +17. We just couldn't contain Harden.

    The Cavs had a nice night on offense, shooting 51.7% and 40.6%. Making 3's makes all the difference. The two late turnovers on inbounds passes from the side (which were inexcusable) took away a chance to win, not that they would have with Harden getting his hands on the ball if they scored a bucket.

    Love bounced back with 17 and 11 but he had three turnovers and was a -23 in 32 minutes. He seemed a little more active tonight but still looks too slow to keep up much of the time. The Cavs went on their 24-0 run with Nance and Henson up front and Love and TT on the bench.

    Garland knocked down 3-for-6 from deep so that's a good sign. He's shooting more aggressively now.

    Cedi had a rough night offensively, getting shut out, but he had 7 assists in 19 minutes and deflected several passes resulting in turnovers. He played some nice defense and forced some missed shots.

    The Rockets had five guys injured but no worries as long as they have Harden, Westbrook, and Capela.

  • Just wanted to add that the Cavs really got going when Beilein sat down the little guards and went with a lineup that had more length in both the front and backcourt. Garland and Sexton were down; Delly and Clarkson were in at guard. Porter plays bigger than he is and can create his own shot more than Cedi. Henson and Nance provided length and athleticism up front.

    The lineup had more length and quickness than the starting unit, which is somewhat limited by Love and Thompson's lack of footspeed in getting from one end of the floor to the other and the guards' lack of size and ability to finish at the rim like Clarkson and Porter.

    It will be interesting to see if Beilein continues to go with this unit off the bench now that Henson is back and Porter is starting to emerge as a contributor.

  • Basically the Cavs had a great shot to steal a win but folded badly at the end.

    "After the last timeout was called with under five minutes, the Cavs turned the ball over six times — two shot-clock violations and four turnovers on bad passes. John Beilein recognized potential with the closing group, which featured Jordan Clarkson and Porter, who were both shooting well, but the unit had three costly turnovers in the final 43 seconds of the game and missed multiple shots."

    Three turnovers in 43 seconds with the game on the line. Wow. One was a miscommunication when Porter lobbed an inbound pass to Sexton who was just clearing out and not even looking for the ball. But at least they were in the game until the final minute. Down by four with the ball and 38 seconds left they just had to make a bucket in under 12 seconds, get a stop, and make another bucket.

  • Garland looked like a child guarding Harden. I suppose he is one.

    The turnovers on the inbounds plays were absurd. Exact same play on both turnovers. A pick and a curl at the elbow.

    A pick at the elbow is what I taught my girl’s team. Get the ball in...run a play. The whole dam arena saw it the first time...then you ran it again? Awful and sophomoric and the players know it’s awful and sophomoric. Clarkson was pissed.

    Do like Porter. We got a legitimate lottery player with the last pick in the first round with this kid. Which is good because we didn’t get much of a lottery pick with our actual lottery pick.

    Still like Sexton. Bulldog. All basketball teams need a bulldog.

  • Either Sexton or Garland needs to be moved in the off season

  • blkmagic00 said... (original post) Either Sexton or Garland needs to be moved in the off season

    Very possibly, but let's see how the next 60 games shake out.