Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 4/23/12

Tough loss tonight in Memphis, but the Cavaliers shouldn’t hang their heads. Playing one of the better teams in the West, the Cavaliers hung in there for pretty much the whole game, even holding the lead for much of the first half.

Kyrie Irving was simply terrific tonight for the wine and gold, scoring 25 points in 29 minutes of play. It was certainly curious to see Irving sitting for much of the 4th quarter despite being the hot hand in this game. Was Byron Scott tanking? I’m sure he’ll just say they’re limiting Kyrie’s minutes as he works his way back into game shape, but the Cavaliers might have won this game had he played more in the 4th quarter.

None of which is to say the Cavaliers did the wrong thing. They showed a lot of spirit in this game and had a chance to win, but in the end they maintained their position in the bottom of the standings. Sort of a best case scenario for the tanking mentality.

Kudos to both Donald Sloan and Manny Harris who both stepped up and did some of the things I was hoping to see from them in this game. Manny provided some offense off the bench, and Sloan looked steady in the backup PG role. The more I see from Sloan, the more I feel comfortable with the idea of bringing him back next season to try handling the backup PG role from day one.

From a defensive standpoint, 6 Grizzlies were in double digit points including all 5 starters. The Grizzlies did a nice job moving the ball around and getting scoring from every spot, but the Cavaliers defended pretty poorly in this game and allowed the Grizzlies to control the rebounds a little too easily.

It’s never fun to lose, but as far as losing goes, this is the kind of loss you can live with in a learning season such as this.

Cleveland Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts K. Irving G 29:28 10-16 2-6 3-5 +3 0 2 4 3 3 0 0 2 25 A. Parker G 22:38 1-4 1-3 2-2 +3 1 3 3 2 1 0 0 1 5 T. Thompson C 29:33 3-10 0-0 6-10 -4 4 9 0 1 0 4 2 6 12 A. Jamison F 32:52 6-14 3-6 2-2 +6 4 9 3 0 0 0 2 2 17 A. Gee F 22:04 3-7 2-3 0-0 0 1 2 2 3 0 0 2 1 8 Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts Totals 37-80 11-24 16-22 13 36 19 17 8 5 8 21 101 Percentages .462 .458 .727 Team Rebounds: 8 O. Casspi 25:56 2-6 1-2 0-0 -8 0 4 0 3 1 1 1 3 5 M. Harris 25:22 5-9 1-1 0-0 -11 2 3 2 1 3 0 1 1 11 D. Sloan 18:46 3-6 0-1 3-3 -9 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 9 S. Samuels 18:27 3-4 0-0 0-0 -4 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 3 6 L. Walton 14:54 1-4 1-2 0-0 -16 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 2 3 L. Harangody DNP – Coach’s Decision D.J. Kennedy DNP – Coach’s Decision A. Varejao DNP – Coach’s Decision Memphis Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts T. Allen G 30:53 6-9 0-0 1-2 +9 4 8 1 1 8 1 0 2 13 M. Conley G 23:37 4-8 2-3 2-2 +6 0 3 3 1 1 0 0 5 12 M. Gasol C 24:12 5-13 0-0 7-8 +3 2 4 2 1 1 3 1 0 17 R. Gay F 34:07 4-10 0-2 7-8 -1 2 6 4 2 0 2 0 2 15 M. Speights F 30:47 6-9 0-0 5-8 +3 4 10 0 2 1 1 0 2 17 Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts Totals 38-81 5-13 28-36 17 42 18 13 14 8 5 19 109 Percentages .469 .385 .778 Team Rebounds: 14 O.J. Mayo 25:39 6-14 2-5 0-0 +6 0 2 5 1 1 0 1 1 14 D. Cunningham 21:47 2-4 0-0 3-3 +22 3 4 0 1 2 1 1 1 7 Z. Randolph 19:14 1-5 0-0 1-2 -12 2 5 1 3 0 0 1 3 3 L. Hudson 12:14 3-6 1-3 2-3 +7 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 J. Selby 11:35 1-2 0-0 0-0 -3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 Q. Pondexter 5:55 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 H. Haddadi DNP – Coach’s Decision J. Pargo DNP – Coach’s Decision
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