Thus far the title defense of the Cavaliers during the 2016-17 season has been a rocky road with a lot of highs and seemingly just as many lows. There were times when Kevin Love was playing his best basketball since becoming a Cavalier and LeBron was playing at another level for him, and there were times where the team has played under .500 basketball and appeared incapable of stopping anybody.
The 4th quarter of the Cavaliers-Hawks game in Atlanta was one of those times, and maybe the lowest point of the season for Cleveland as they blew a 26-point 4th quarter lead and lost in overtime 126-125.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 10, 2017
Here was the jumper by Paul Millsap that capped off the incredible comeback and sent the game to overtime…
The Hawks trailed by 26 entering the 4th quarter…
TWENTY. SIX. ? pic.twitter.com/qou4mT89ce
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 9, 2017
LeBron had yet another triple-double before fouling out in overtime, and Kyrie Irving added 45 points, but it wasn’t enough.
The Cavaliers are now tied with the Celtics for 1st place in the eastern conference with two games remaining, but they have the tiebreaker because of their big win in Boston last Wednesday.
Cleveland has the tougher pair of games remaining including a game in Miami against a desperate Heat team trying to make the postseason Monday night and a home game against the Raptors, who are locked into the No. 3 seed, to close the season.
Boston meanwhile gets Brooklyn and a pesky Milwaukee team fighting for playoff positioning to close the season, both at home.
The Cavaliers need to take a long look in the mirror and use Sunday’s collapse as motivation and a driving factor for them to play harder and find their groove before it is too late. The world needs Warriors-Cavaliers round 3 this season, but it won’t happen if the Cavs don’t find their championship drive again.