The great, the not so great, & bottomline of Cavs’ loss to Grizzlies

On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in their season opener 132-121 at FedExForum. 

Memphis’ Ja Morant led all scorers with 37 points, including six assists and five rebounds.

Here’s the great for Cleveland:

-Darius Garland started slow but picked things up in the second half. Garland had two points in the first half, but the third-year point guard had 11 of his 13 points and eight of his team-high 12 assists in the second half.

-Ricky Rubio is just a professional point guard, and he also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in 25 minutes of action. Rubio is a calming presence for this team.

-Jarrett Allen was perfect from the field(11-11) and had 25 points, four rebounds, and three block shots. He did a great job of scoring around the basket.

-Rookie Evan Mobley was impressive in his debut. He had a great stat line with 17 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in a team-high 38 minutes. He even showed off the range with three in the corner. 

-Cleveland was very unselfish last night. They had 38 assists on 47 field goals. The 38 assists are the most the Cavs have had in a game since 2016.

The Not So Great:

-Cleveland’s defense was not great last night. First, they allowed 132; next, they allowed 70 points in the paint, and finally, they allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 53% from the field, including 14-33 from downtown. 

Lauri Markkanen struggled with his shot last night(4-14 FG, 10 points). This is not a big deal, Markkanen is a solid shooter, and his shots will fall.

Bottom line:

The Cavaliers showed a lot of fight in this game. They battled back and cut the lead to one after falling behind by 14 in the fourth quarter. This was not a bad performance by Cleveland. Going forward, they have to be better on defense, but again, not a bad start for the young Cavaliers.

What’s next:

The Cavs will host the Hornets in their home-opener on Friday night.

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