The last time the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Los Angeles Lakers, they were nearly doubled up on the scoreboard. When I saw the 112-57 final following that first meeting, I thought it was a mistake. I know the Cavs are bad, but how on Earth do you lose an NBA game by 55 points?
So knowing what happened in the last meeting, you would say heading into last night’s match up between the two teams that the probability of the Cavs pulling the upset was about as likely as Congress agreeing on healthcare.
So then a healthcare solution everyone agrees on is forthcoming, right? Not likely, but the Cavaliers did achieve the unthinkable Wednesday night-they beat the mighty Lakers-and that’s NOT a misprint.
By Adam Satorius
Cleveland played probably their best game of the season (easy to say when you’re 10-46 with a 26 game losing streak included) last night and pulled off the shocker.
Usually, I would have seen this as a trap game for the Lakers. It was their final game before the All-Star break. It was also the final game of a long road trip. Those are two common ingredients when it comes to teams pulling off big upsets. But this is the Cleveland Cavaliers we are talking about. Even with all the stars aligned, I wouldn’t have seen this coming.
For the Cavs, they shouldn’t let this win go to their heads (how could it when they are 36 games under .500)? For the Lakers, as bad as this loss looks, it’s not the end of the world. The Cavs played well and they should be proud of themselves. They can certainly take some things from last night’s game and try to build on them moving forward. They shot the ball pretty well and they were able to create a lot of turnovers that they then converted into points.
Those are two things that usually result in victories so if Cleveland enjoyed winning this game, they should consider trying to shoot well, create turnovers, and convert said turnovers into points on a more regular basis.
For the Lakers, they need to simply recognize that any night they don’t come to play, they can be beaten. They do not have the same margin for error as they did a few years ago. They can’t take it easy against bad teams and still coast to victory.
They are an older team now too. It gets harder for guys to play extended minutes every game. Sometimes as a coach, it may be wiser to pick a game here and there and tell the starters that they are only playing “X” number of minutes tonight regardless of the game’s situation. It may help strengthen your bench in the long run too. And it would allow for fresher legs down the stretch and into the playoffs. The Lakers will still be a strong favorite this post season, despite this embarrassing setback.
The Cavaliers will still finish with one of the worst records in the NBA this season.
Although this was certainly a monumental upset and a great win for the Cavs, it really won’t do a whole lot in terms of turning their season around. They are still 15 games (as of today) out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot-you do the math: 10 wins total and 15 games out of the #8 spot-I’d say though not mathematically impossible, we’re more likely to see Israel and Palestine make peace than the Cavaliers make the playoffs.
But for one night, the Cavs were kings. Let them enjoy it-the season resumes next week and it’s likely back to reality.Follow paulmbanks