Tuesday night wasn’t a good one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They managed just 78 points in a home loss to the Suns, and shot 35.7 percent from the field, including a dismal 2-of-15 from three-point range, while committing 18 turnovers and getting outscored in the paint by 14.
Dion Waiters was 7-of-20, Jeremy Pargo was 3-of-12, C.J. Miles was 3-of-11, and Tristan Thompson was 1-of-7.
The lone bright spot was Anderson Varejao, who finished with 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting, to go along with 18 rebounds. He leads the league in that category, by the way, with an average of almost 15 per game.
Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott did us all a favor by succinctly summing up his team’s performance with his opening postgame presser remarks.
“I’ll make this a real quick statement,” he began, with a bit of a smirk. “Andy Varejao was fantastic. Everybody else sucked tonight. Anything else you need to know?”
Nope. That about does it, coach. Thanks.
Dwyane Wade says Bulls’ showers had no hot water in Boston
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:
I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.
But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.
Robin Lopez pushes short floater over backboard (video)
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.
One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.
We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.
Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.
If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.
For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.