February 10, 2011
Twenty-six losses in a row for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a continuing NBA record. The team is stuck at 8-45 on the season, and outside of the return of solid players like Mo Williams(notes) and Leon Powe(notes), the group doesn't really have much to look forward to. You can understand why this would leave a dispirited bunch to hit the floor in an otherwise-anonymous game against the also-lowly Detroit Pistons.
What wasn't excused was the team's effort. Temperament? Sadness? Frustration? Sure. Apathy? No way.
And after the Pistons downed the Cavs, Cleveland coach Byron Scott lost it.
The performance was so bad that coach Byron Scott threw a fit at halftime and another one after the game, when he kept the locker room closed for 30 minutes.
But, frankly, he is at a loss to explain what is happening.
"I'm mad as hell because ... I can deal with losing, especially when our guys play as hard as they have in the last couple weeks," he said. "But I find it very hard to deal with when guys don't come out ready to play."
Scott is right to go off on his crew because, while the team has clearly struggled since the start of December (winning just once in that term), at least the effort was there on most nights. Poor play on both ends? Sure. Less-than-cerebral hoopage? No doubt. Sick of me asking questions?
"I thought we took a gigantic step backwards and it was all because of lack of effort," the coach said. "We had no sense of urgency whatsoever, and that kind of amazes me. When we've lost as many in a row as we lost and when you've been as close as we've been in the last four or five games and to be at home and come out the way we came out -- that amazes me."
Well, it shouldn't amaze Scott. But he shouldn't let it slide, either. Especially on one of the rare nights where Cleveland, and this isn't a joke, was actually favored to win.
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