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Shorthanded Cavs lack rebounding, passing ability in 113-105 loss to surging Portland; Three takeaways

Shortage of assists, rebounds

Head coach Tyronn Lue opted for Rodney Hood and Green in his frontcourt, with Hood listed at power forward and Green at center. Neither of the two players is above 6-foot-9, and they combined for seven rebounds in 51 minutes of playing time.

James led the Wine and Gold with 11 boards, but the interior presences of Jusuf Nurkic (10 rebounds), Ed Davis (nine rebounds) and Al-Farouq Aminu (eight rebounds) was too much to overcome. Portland outrebounded Cleveland, 50-to-34.

Distributing the ball was also a major weakness.

George Hill is averaging 2.8 assists, his lowest since 2011-12. Korver is averaging 1.2 assists, the third-lowest total of his 16-year professional tenure. The starting backcourt totaled four assists, with James (six assists) and Green (four assists) leading the charge. The Trailblazers had 26 assists, while the Cavaliers only had 17.

The many injuries seem to have produced a ripple effect on the Cavs, as they are struggling in two of the biggest facets of the game. The rebounding numbers prior to the West Coast matchup were just as bad…

  • Wednesday, March 7 vs. Nuggets: outrebounded 51-35
  • Friday, March 9 vs. Clippers: outrebounded 52-40
  • Sunday, March 11 vs. Lakers: outrebounded 51-37

Portland had 20 second-chance points compared to Cleveland’s four second-chance points, the punctuating blow to a tough loss.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (

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