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Hospitals, ripped jerseys, and discord: Cavs melt down in Atlanta

Jae Crowder, Taurean Prince

Atlanta Hawks’ Taurean Prince (12) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jae Crowder (99) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t one that many in Ohio would want to watch again. A crazy sequence at the end of the game in which the Cavaliers had the chance to win or tie three times in six seconds wasn’t even the worst of it.

But let’s start there and work backwards, shall we?

There was no 57-point turnout from LeBron James to be had. Instead what we got was 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range for Luke Babbitt, and a 28-point effort from Dennis Schröder. For Cleveland, James led the way with 26 points and 13 assists, but Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, and Jae Crowder combined for 15 points on 17 shots. It was tough to watch.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers still had a chance to win the game late when Atlanta’s Isaiah Taylor missed two straight free throws with 12 seconds to go.

Then this happened:

That was just the end of an insane game that featured a frustrating performance from Love, who has had to shoulder more of the load with Tristan Thompson out with an injury. Earlier in the game, Love ripped his jersey and appeared to walk off the court after a touch foul had been called against him.

Cavaliers coach Ty Lue laid into Love during a timeout, furthering the narrative of discord in The Land. Love exited the game in the third quarter, and the team said that he had been sent to the hospital for evaluation.

It was quickly announced that Love had returned home from the hospital, although we still have no idea why he was sent there in the first place.

Of course, to add fuel to the fire, Cavaliers players said after the game that they felt they were not living up to expectations for the championship-hopeful squad just a few weeks into the young NBA season. Both Channing Frye and Dwyane Wade expressed publicly some sentiments that are usually kept private.

To add insult to injury, Lue lost what appears to be a wintergreen Lifesavers during the game (h/t r/nba).


So to round all this up for you, here’s what happened.

  • Cleveland lost to the Hawks despite missed free throws.
  • Most of the Cavaliers were bad.
  • Kevin Love was injured/sick(?)
  • These Nike jerseys are hella rippable.
  • Ty Lue was mad at Kevin Love.
  • Many Cavaliers players are upset with their play.
  • Ty Lue needs a Mentos.

Typically I think you wait until players start calling themselves out publicly before raising concern in these situations. That happened on Sunday, so it’s officially panic time in Cleveland.

Meanwhile the “mini-LeBron” Eric Bledsoe saga continues. The Phoenix Suns PG was reportedly fined $10,000 for his tweet asking for a trade.

It’s only November 5th. The NBA is insane.