While the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the NBA's better defensive teams, they aren't flawless. Cleveland's Achille's heel is how they defend opponents on the perimeter, allowing 36.0% of opposing attempts to connect. While that percentage allowed is still top-10 worthy compared to all 30 teams, it could spell disaster if the Cavs caught a red-hot team on the perimeter.

In Cleveland's 120-101 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets, disaster came calling from inside the house. Overall, the Nets connected on 18 of their 35 attempts from deep, with Cam Thomas leading the charge with five makes of his own. The sudden 3-point barrage certainly hurts an existing defensive issue for the Cavs. It was also a key factor in Brooklyn outscoring Cleveland 44-29 in the third quarter, forcing Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff to throw in the towel to start the final frame.

“At some point in time, emotionally, physically, you just run out of gas,” Bickerstaff said postgame. “Everybody was trying to step up one more man down. They competed in the first half and then the third quarter kinda broke our back.”

By then, the Nets had the game in the bag with a 22-point lead. But, as Brooklyn and Cleveland toiled away in the final frame, it became even clearer that the Cavs could be easily exploited on the perimeter. Sure, Cleveland has added the firepower in Max Strus, who was unavailable against the Nets, and Georges Niang, who had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 3-of-5 from 3-point range in 24 minutes against Brooklyn. But if the personnel isn't available, it's hard for the Cavs to match teams like the Nets shot for shot on nights like these, especially with an existing weakness on defense.

“It felt like everything they were throwing up, they were hitting,” said rookie point guard Craig Poter Jr. “I feel like we were defending at a high level but it was just one of those nights where their shots kept falling. We couldn't get in the way and I felt like it just dragged on and on and on and it just wasn't one of those things that we could claw back into.”

Come playoff time, the lack of effort defending on the perimeter could come back to bite Cleveland in a seven-game series. Depending on the opponent, the Cavs could struggle to find a rhythm on the perimeter to set the tone scoring-wise. It could only compound if Cleveland allows an opponent to build a cadence from 3-point range, possibly costing a game or the entire series.

Thankfully, the sometimes lackadaisical 3-point defense isn't a massive flaw for the Cavs. Although clearly, when they suffer experiences like they did against the Nets, it still shouldn't be unforgotten. There are still a handful of games to go until the beginning of the playoffs and, by then, hopefully, Cleveland will have tightened down on the perimeter. If they don't then another game like this one against Brooklyn could happen, which no one rooting for the Cavs wants.