Don’t tell Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott that his team has nothing to play for. The Cavs, already owners of the longest losing streak in NBA history (26 Games), are on the brink of becoming owners of the longest losing streak in the history of the four major sports. Oddly enough, it is the Los Angeles Clippers, a team always synonymous with inordinate amounts of futility, that can put the Cavs in the record books when they face the Cavs in Cleveland tonight.
Scott has maintained his composure throughout the losing streak. The Cavs nearly pulled off victories against Indiana, Memphis, Portland and Dallas only to come up short in the fourth quarter. The Cavs held leads in the fourth quarter in all four of those contests. Still, Scott pointed to those games, plus an upcoming 8-game homestand, as signs that his team was on the verge of victory.
Scott finally imploded on his team after Wednesday night’s defeat at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Cavs looked lethargic and uninterested, despite playing to avoid becoming the owners of the longest losing streak in NBA history.
Scott kept the lockeroom closed an extra 30 minutes after the defeat, reportedly to unload on his team.
“I’m mad as hell,” Scott said. “I can deal with losing, especially when our guys play as hard as they have in the last couple weeks, but I find it very hard to deal with when our guys don’t come out ready to play.”
At this point, the Cavs know they are the least talented team in the NBA. Injuries to starters Anderson Varejeo and Mo Williams have depleted a Cavs team already short on talent. But pride needs to set in. Simply playing hard wins a lot of games in this league these days. Critics have question the Cavs’ mental toughness especially after the much publicized Heat game in which LeBron James scorched his former team for 38 pts in his homecoming – a 28 point defeat. Since that game, the Cavs have lost an astounding 35 of 36 games. GM Chris Grant recently gave Scott a vote of confidence despite the record number of consecutive losses.
After the tongue thrashing Scott put on his team Wednesday night, expect a better performance against the Clippers. Just don’t expect a victory.