The Sports Daily > Burning River Basketball
LeBron and JR Sit as Cavs Fall to Pacers

The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Indiana Pacers by a score of 103-93. The team was shorthanded due to LeBron James and JR Smith both sitting out for Cleveland. It also seemed as if Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Iman Shumpert saw much less of the floor than accustomed to early on this year. With this being the second night of a back-to-back, the resting strategy was evident. The Pacers, however, were at full-strength and were challenged by members of the Cavaliers’ summer league team until late in the game. Take that for what it’s worth.

  1. Tonight the Cavaliers played the lineup of Jordan McRae, Kay Felder, DeAndre Liggins, Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen and Channing Frye. Typically, this lineup would mean that the Cavs were either up big or getting blown out, but tonight it was neither. This group saw time in the first quarter. If that doesn’t explain how this game went, I’m not sure you’ll understand.
  2. Kevin Love looked a little bit like pre-Cleveland Kevin Love, at least numbers wise. Love notched yet another double-double registering 27 points and 16 rebounds. It was nice to see both he and Kyrie Irving continue to carry the scoring load, even with LeBron out.
  3. Early on, Kyrie Irving was able to get to the rim at ease. This is something that’s obviously become rather common in Cleveland with Irving, but it was nice to still see him attack the hoop without James on the floor.
  4. I suspect that there are going to be quite a few games like this during this season where the Cavs don’t necessarily concede, but guys like Felder, McRae, and Liggins get serious minutes as they did tonight. These games shouldn’t be looked at as a throw away but rather as valuable learning time for young guys that don’t particularly see the floor too often.
  5. Tristian Thompson registered an early season candidate for his dunk of the year. In the first quarter TT received a bounce pass from Irving in the lane and promptly slammed on Myles Turner, CJ Miles, and probably the entire state of Indiana.
  6. At the end of the year, this game probably won’t be all that important in the big scheme of things, but it definitely could be seen as important in the development of bench guys such as McRae, Felder, and Liggins.