Cavaliers lose eighth straight, blown out by Jazz 117-91
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - “Hey, I remember you.”
That thought may have been on the minds of several Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz players when the two teams met at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night.
Cavs shooting guard Rodney Hood came to Cleveland via trade last season after spending his first three seasons in the league with Utah, while Alec Burks arrived in Cleveland this season via trade from Utah after spending his first seven seasons with the Jazz.
In the Burks trade, the Cavs shipped Kyle Korver to Utah after the three-point sniper spent the previous two seasons in Cleveland. Meanwhile, forward Jae Crowder played 53 games for Cleveland last season before being traded to Utah. With players in and out of the lineup and switching teams, it can be difficult for a team to get into any sort of flow.
“It’s extremely difficult,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said of his team trying to get a rhythm. “Having been a player myself and played in the league for 10 years, I know how tough that can be on a player, also coach. But, it’s part of the game.
“There are a lot of things that happen through the course of a season. The NBA season, it’s a long season and there are a lot of different things that happens. You have to be ready to adjust, you have to be ready to adapt to whatever the situation may be. For us in particular, it’s been extremely tough with having to juggle people around and move them in different spots…but that’s all a part of the NBA.”
For young players, learning how to win is also a part of the league, which the Cavs continue to try to figure out. After a closely contested first half, the Jazz pulled away from the Cavs on Friday en route to a 117-91 victory.
“They’re a very talented team,” Drew said of Utah. “They have the ability, they have the personnel where they can put strings of wins together. If they stay healthy, they have that ability to put together a string of wins.”
The Cavs were very competitive with the favored Jazz in the first half, trailing just 23-20 when the first quarter ended. When Hood drained a step-back three-pointer just under three minutes into the second quarter, Cleveland secured their largest lead of the night, 34-25. Surprisingly, Cleveland led 49-48 at halftime.
Unfortunately, that’s about as successful as the Cavs were on Friday. When Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio sank back-to-back buckets roughly five minutes into the third quarter, Utah had regained the lead 59-58. When the end of the quarter arrived, the Jazz led 81-71 and pulled away early in the fourth.
Against their former team, Hood finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while Burks scored 16 points. Drew has been pleased with how they’ve fit in with the team.
“They’re doing really well for me,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said about Hood and Burks. “I’m really excited in having both guys. I think both guys fill a void with our team.
“Obviously, we’re going through a process as far as rebuilding and both guys are young talents, and they give me an opportunity to play guys and move them around in multiple positions. Both guys are versatile and they’ve really been good for us. They play well together, they play off of one another and I’m really, really excited having both guys.”
Korver scored 10 points in 22 minutes against Cleveland, while Crowder totaled 16 points and five rebounds.
“First, I’m going to give him a big hug, because Kyle Korver is one of my favorite players and I know Kyle,” Drew said of Korver returning to The Land. “I’ve been watching some of their games, and Kyle is Kyle. He’s running around, and he gets his feet set and he’s going to let it go.
“I think for their team, I think he’s a great pickup with the rest of their talent.”
The Cavs will host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
POSTED 01/04/2019 21:54