The Cleveland Cavaliers finished up a busy week on the West Coast with a hard-fought 97-92 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant's 42 points put a damper on the Cavs' solid effort as they tried to even up their record for the week.
But the loss left Cleveland 1-3 for the week that started with a 98-78 loss at the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pacers went on to lose their next game at the Utah Jazz, 113-105 before finally notching another win in beating the Phoenix Suns, 101-90.
Cleveland won three of four games the week before surprising many by taking care of a soft spot in the schedule. Despite the road rash suffered with the 1-3 record this past week, Byron Scott's young team continues to show promise as rookie point guard Kyrie Irving has exceeded early expectations. As Fear The Sword notes, Scott and Irving deserve a lot of credit for the Cavs' play of late.
I was once again impressed by Byron Scott's halftime adjustments on defense. After allowing 59 points in the first half, the Cavs clamped down in the second half and allowed only 38 points in the second. Apart from the play of Kyrie Irving, I have to admit that Scott's ability to make effective adjustments mid-game is the most encouraging thing about the Cavaliers in this young season.
In fact, with the Cavs sitting at 5-6 for the season, were the playoffs to start right now they would be the number eight seed in the Eastern Conference. Talk about exceeding expectations.