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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Game 16: Cavs at Celtics

TD Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: It was a black Friday in Beantown.

They were never in the game. From the opening tip. The Celtics jumped out to an 18-2 lead and turned it into a laugher. What is going on with the Cavs would be a laughing matter, but there's a lot of people who truly care what happens with this team.

They are digging themselves such a deep hole, they might not ever recover. Their only saving grace is that the rest of the Eastern Conference is in such a sorry state. There are three teams with records over .500 - Indiana, Miami and Atlanta.

The Cavs, though, have lost five in a row to drop to 4-12. They've lost eight of their last nine. Nothing seems to change. They come out, get hammered and go home. Coach Mike Brown is left to explain what happened to the media afterward. He's running out of things to say.

Seven of their 12 losses have been by 10 or more points.

Their 1-9 mark on the road is second-worst in the entire NBA. Only Utah's 0-9 record is worse.

Until this team learns how to win on the road, their tailspin will continue.

Celtics forward Jeff Green was outstanding on Friday. How well did he play? He outscored the Cavs' starting five, 31-30.

Of course, that's not saying much for the starting five. Brown chose to start rookie Sergey Karasev at shooting guard. He managed one point. Small forward Alonzo Gee erupted for six. Tristan Thompson is now in a funk, too, and had one basket on a tip-in.

Center Andrew Bynum had four points and was 2 of 7 from the field. In his last two games, he's 4 of 17 from the floor. He's been really bad. It's not like he's ferocious on the boards, either. He had two points and a block.

Personally, I don't think the experiment is working.

They still have some problems throwing passes to the low post. All of this stuff should have been ironed out in training camp, but of course, Bynum missed the entire preseason.

Defensively, Bynum isn't doing much, either. He has a long way to go before he's a bona fide NBA center. It might never come back to him.

He corrals rebounds flat-footed, He rarely gets off his feet on his shots or when he's going after the ball rebounding. Defensively, guys just blow past him. Opposing teams are also running more when he's on the court.

I'm guarded in my optimism about when he'll ever be good again.

Former Ohio State center Jared Sullinger outscored Bynum, 12-4, all on 3-point goals. He's averaging 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds.

The Cavs return home on Saturday to face the Chicago Bulls. They are missing Derrick Rose for the rest of the season, but it makes no difference against the Cavs. If they play like they've been performing in this five-game losing streak, another setback is on the horizon.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Chicago at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Jeff Green (6-9, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Brandon Bass (6-8, 250)
C Andrew Bynum (7-0, 294) vs. Jared Sullinger (6-9, 280)
SG Sergey Karasev (6-7, 196) vs. Jordan Crawford (6-4, 195)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Avery Bradley (6-2, 180)
Cavs - G/F C.J. Miles, C Henry Sims
Celtics - G Rajon Rondo
Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay, James Williams


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