Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Curbstomping by the Warriors will leave a bad taste in Cavs' mouth for months--if not forever

What can you say about Monday night's abomination? What every Cavaliers' observer knew was a huge game on the schedule--the final regular season meeting between the Warriors and Cavs after a very nice road trip which saw only a close loss to San Antonio--turns out to be an absolute disaster.

The Cavaliers were absolutely humiliated at home, 132-98, in a game that wasn't even that close. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were non-factors, and LeBron James put up a -35 plus/minus, the worst of his career.

No need to go through the specific issues in the game, except for that the game plan, execution, and staffing all seemed to be woefully inadequate, and Steph Curry and Co. punked the crap out of the team in front of a sell out crowd that felt like a Browns mid-December crowd by the third quarter.

The Kevin Love Vine that will live in infamy does the job nicely. 

What is worth talking about is what this will do to the Cavaliers the rest of the season. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Monday beatdown could destroy the team, leading to finger pointing and infighting that the team can never recover from. In fact, there was minor hints of that Monday evening, with LeBron discussing the inexperience of some players, and Kevin Love nodding toward James as he talked about the team having to check the mirror, starting with their leader.

But maybe it will pull the team together, making Kevin Love a true focal point of the offense and not some guy who makes one shot and can't play defense. Making JR Smith accountable for his boneheadedness to go along with his offensive gifts. Maybe it's the fire that had to be lit under a team that was probably feeling pretty good after blowing out Houston on the road just days earlier.

All we know is that there is nothing--NOTHING--that can remove this bad taste from the team's mouth beside beating the Warriors--or another Western Conference team--in a seven game series commonly known as the Finals. So from now until June, the team just has to suck it up and own the fact that they got their asses kicked on national television.

If they don't want it to happen again, something has to change.