The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 112-57 on Tuesday night.
That's all I feel like saying.
Like most Cleveland fans, I was prepared for a severly lopsided score. And like some fans, I've been encouraged by some of the things I've seen from the Cavs' youngest players . . . Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga, and even Alonzo Gee . . . so I thought I'd enjoy the game more if I spotted the Lakers 20 points from the onset in my head. That way, I could watch the young players develop without thinking about the score.
But even considering a subsequent bump of the spot to 30 imaginary points, I still couldn't keep the game competitive. The Cavs spent 48 minutes drowning . . . without a fight . . . as if they were unconscious.
There are no details of this game that are worth knowing.
To prove it, here's a look at the Cavs' starters' shooting prowess:
The Cavs had two players finish in double-figures. Alonzo Gee, who scored 12 points (on 6-of-12 shooting) and Ramon Sessions, who had 10 points (on 4-of-8 shooting). Samardo Samuels got some big minutes off the bench (33), and he shot like he was starting in this one. Badly.
He finished with three points on a brick-filled 1-of-12. He also had four turnovers.
Meanwhile, the Lakers shot 53.5% for the game (to the Cavs' 29.9%), 50% from beyond the arc (to the Cavs' 07.1%), had only 12 turnovers (to the Cavs' 19), and had 52 points in the paint (to the Cavs' 28).
As for the gameplay, the Cavs were competive for one play. After L.A.'s Derek Fisher made a 3-pointer to open the game, J.J. responded with a 16-foot jumper to cut the Lakers' lead to 3-2. And that was it.
Then it was 13-2, 23-6, 50-22, 81-31 . . . and so on and so forth.
Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson, Leon Powe and Joey Graham were out with injuries . . . and Christian Eyenga was trying to play with a sprained ankle . . . and the Cavs were playing without the core player who the organization built the team around, against the team that has won the past two NBA championships, on their court. But the most visible absence was heart-shaped.
If the Cavs want people like me to be writing about them . . . if they want people like you reading about them . . . and if they want people like all of us to spend their evenings (and in this case, late evenings) watching their games (all four quarters; sober, at least) . . . then they're going to have to accept the challenges and adversities that have been laid out in front of them, and just play basketball anyway.
Real basketball. With real effort, grit and pride. To care, at least. And to work.
We all know this rebuilding is going to be a process. The Cavs aren't going to be able to fight neck-and-neck with the Lakers at this stage, even with a surplus of effort, grit and pride. But this is still the NBA . . . and no game should ever look like this.
According to Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the 57 points the Cavaliers scored was their lowest total in franchise history. The 55 points they lost by was also a franchise record. The 25 points they scored in the first half was one more than the franchise record of 24 . . . and the 23 field goals the Cavs managed was three more than their franchise low of 20.
Here are a few quotes from after the devastation:
Jamison: "It can't be any worse than this. If it is, someone will have to help me because I don't know how much of this I can take. This by far is rock bottom. It's definitely by far one of the most embarrassing moments that I've been a part of as far as basketball.
"55 points? That's, like, impossible. We're professional athletes. How do you lose by 55 points? I don't care who you're playing against. I mean, if this doesn't hurt . . . I don't understand how we're able to have conversations in the locker room. There's nothing to talk about."
Mo tweeted: "This is embarassing. I feel like I can't even show my face in Cleve."
And during the game, LeBron James tweeted . . . seemingly referencing the Cavs . . . "Crazy. Karma is a b*tch. Gets you every time. It's not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
(I miss that guy, class act through and through. If God sees everything, he surely couldn't avoid seeing "The Decision", which was everywhere. I'm sure he was thrilled with that self-worship. It's not good to wish bad on people, but it's also not good to break the Second Commandment.)