My question is: How the hell does this happen? I understand that the Cavs were a poor defensive team throughout the regular season and that bad habits can be hard to kick; I understand that their trade deadline haul, which once looked like a potential season-saver, has turned to ash; I understand that playing basketball is difficult. What I don’t get is how any team, even one that is perhaps not very good and has advanced much farther than it deserved to, can’t muster enough effort to at least look like they care during the most crucial 24 minutes of their season.


The Cavs should be well beyond this. They had their first-round fight against the Pacers and came out stronger for it. They absolutely humiliated the top seed in the conference while rounding into what appeared a truly dangerous form, and now they are somehow humiliating themselves to the same degree. It’s a weird thing to watch unfold, and it’s hard not to conclude that the players are just sort of sick of each other, the organization, and themselves. They look like they want this all to be over as soon as possible, and after watching last night’s second half, I do too.