On Sunday against the Hawks, the first quarter went well for the Cavs. They led by as many as 15 points and and led by 10 points heading into the second quarter. Cleveland looked well on its way to winning in its home opener and getting its first win of the season.
But by the time the game ended, the Cavs were down by 22 points and, for the third straight game, the team trailed by 20 points at one point or the other. And against the Hawks, the Cavs gave up 40 points in two different quarters, completely giving away a winnable game in the process. And for Kevin Love, this wasn’t a good sign.
“The last three quarters were pretty damn alarming,” Love said post game. “Opening Night at home we expect to play better. We expect to play better in front of our home crowd. I don’t know if alarming is the right word but it sure sounds right, just with our effort level. Our effort level wasn’t there, especially defending the three-point line. They were just gunning and we weren’t getting into them. We weren’t physical.”
Other players echoed these thoughts too and players were understandably frustrated with how the team turned out. And for Love, the face of the team this year, it makes sense that he’s frustrated. Love, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and a ton of other players want to keep winning and pushing for the playoffs this year. And for the last three quarters of this game, the Cavs looked nothing like a playoff team. For players that want to compete right now, it’s fair to be alarmed.