Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/9/14
E6
The mistakes made in Wednesday night’s Cavaliers game are often the kind that force head coach Byron Scott to take to the podium with a heavy sigh and a similar message as the game before. Missed free throws, silly fouls and lackadaisical defense were only the beginning. But it would be this Cavaliers team, typically left holding the bag when the final buzzer blows, who would have a bit of luck (finally) thrown their way. Not having Anderson Varejao in tow, the Wine and Gold had to count on Kyrie Irving coupled with the good fortune of playing against the hapless Washington Wizards. Even Tristan Thompson, the power forward who has recorded his fourth-straight double double, had a bit of luck when he converted a three-point play in the games final seconds — Thompson was out of position, receiving the ball very deep under the basket, but managed to use his athleticism to correct himself mid-air where he would be fouled before the ball fell through the net. The result was  a win, the Cavaliers’ second straight which marks the first time they’ve accomplished such since March of last season. As opposed to losing a game they should have won — we could lob a dart at the archives and find a game that fits this classification — the Cavaliers won a game they should have lost. They were out-rebounded substantially to the tune of 51-38. They allowed the Wizards to shoot 46 percent from the floor while amassing a mere 37 percent conversion rate. Reserve guard Jordan Crawford provided 17 points off of the bench while the entire Cavalier bench unit amassed 21. But the Cavaliers controlled what they could — they limited their turnovers (only 10 on the night), moved the ball well and managed to get to the free throw line nine more times than their opposition. Dion Waiters was not playing at an All-Star level (nine points, zero rebounds, one assist), but Draft Day rival Bradley Beal missed all five of his field goal attempts. Thompson and frontcourt mate Tyler Zeller played a full 48 minutes of high-energy, heady basketball. Kyrie Irving sealed the deal with a free throw — despite missing four of them late in the game — that put the Cavs up by three, forcing an errant three-point attempt at the buzzer. Byron Scott did have his post-game sigh, but it was more out of relief than frustration. “We got the win tonight so I guess I should be a lot happier than I am. Some of the mistakes we made tonight are just unnecessary,” said Scott of his young squad which started four players in their first or second seasons. “Coming down the stretch some of the missed free throws could have been crucial if this game had not gone in our favor. We have to be smarter when the game is on the line like it was tonight.” Scott dubbed this game a lesson, one that his young team can use to their advantage going forward. They have seemingly lost games every which way — full-game blowouts, late-game collapse — so to hang on and win a game that otherwise would have gone the other way is a learning tool. Wednesday night’s class taught the Cavaliers that it takes solid late-game defense. It takes consistent movement with or without the ball. It takes forced turnovers in the waning minutes. It takes an otherwise dreadful free throw shooter in Thompson draining all five of his attempts. It takes a buzzer-beating attempt, one that has gone against this team so many times before, to clang off of the back of the rim. And it even takes a huge three-point field goal from a rookie shooting guard who had an otherwise sub-par evening. “Hopefully we can keep up the success,” said Irving, whose uncharacteristic missed free throws could have cost his team the victory. “I have confidence in my teammates, I’m ready to win a third one. The effort that we gave tonight is good, but we have to take it up a notch as we know the road only gets tougher.” – Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Report: Adam Wainwright likely done for the season

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.