It was never easy for the Cleveland club as they faced the best defense in the NBA without their leading scorer, Donovan Mitchell.
It came down to the wire, but the Grizzlies pulled away by one point, 115-114 in the end.
But it wasn’t a tight game all the way. The Cavs jumped out to an early double-digit lead until they allowed Memphis to take a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Cleveland soon found itself heading into the first half,
The Cavs came out strong in the third quarter and outscored the Grizzlies 30-21 in that period. They came back and took the lead back in the fourth game which was a back and forth game all the way.
But now we have to talk about the last few possessions. With 27 seconds left in the game, the Cavs held a one-point lead and prepared to pass the ball after a timeout. Their play exploded and the team was called with a five-second penalty which resulted in a turnover.
Then JMorant He drove to the hoop and missed a layup. But, Stephen Adams Unchecked, he went under the basket and was able to turn the ball over and take back the lead.
JB Bickerstaff He decided not to call a timeout and let his team play. Darris Garland He took the ball down the field and wasn’t even able to hit it with his shot being clear.
Not a great look all around. I see, these are supposed to be the learning moments for this team. But what exactly did they learn here?
It looks like the execution all around could have been better from a coach and player point of view in those final two minutes.
A lot of attention will be paid to the closing stretch of the game but it wasn’t the only area where the Cavs let this player get away from them. They let Memphis score on 13-second chances and 13-point turnovers as well. This is a perfect example of why Cleveland can’t give great teams like the Grizzlies extra chances or they will pay for it.
Now to the positive.
Isaac Okoro He played his best game of the season against the Grizzlies and arguably one of his best games in a Cavs uniform. He finished the night with 17 points and was stellar from the field. This included shooting 3-for-3 behind three, and 6-for-6 from the field, while also on two blocked shots.
Okoro looks like a fresh player in the new year, but he just needs to keep her consistency with him.
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This was a huge loss for the Cavs but they need to put it behind them ASAP. They have a tough showdown this weekend with games against the Warriors and Bucks.
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