The Cleveland Cavaliers Can Still Win
I had high hopes for the Cleveland Cavaliers going into Game 2 of the NBA Finals but after watching about 3 quarters I started asking myself if the Eastern Conference was really that much weaker than the Western Conference. I guess I let the commentators and Twitter influence how I felt. All the negative comments about the Cavs and the Twitter memes were very entertaining but after I was done laughing I realized that everyone was basically saying the same thing. If you listen carefully everyone was saying that the series was over and Lebron James was the only players the Cavs have that can compete with the Golden State Warriors.
What I would rather hear everyone talk about is what the Cavs need to do to get back into the series or what the Warriors need to do to make sure the Cavs don’t gain any momentum. Since no one seems to think the Warriors can do anything wrong I choose to talk about the Cavs.
What Should the Cavaliers Do Now?
Let’s be honest, if you were to tell anyone that knows anything about basketball that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were going to have mediocre games and the Warriors would still dominate the Cavs, who would have believed you?
The Cavs are in a hole and it’s obvious that their current strategy isn’t working. One thing that the Cavs’ critics have been saying is that they should probably insert Timofey Mozgov into the starting lineup and I couldn’t agree more. Now I don’t claim to know basketball on the same level as Mark Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy but I completely understand where they’re coming from when they talk about Mozgov.
The Warriors are a really good team from top to bottom but where they show some vulnerability is on the boards because they’re not a very big team. That’s why inserting Mozgov into the lineup makes so much sense.
The Cavs have done a great job keeping the Splash Brothers under control. I think it would be unrealistic to think any team is going to shut out the two of the best shooter to ever play the game but they have been containing them as well as any team can. I think they need to stick to that game plan and live with the others taking outside jumpers. If they hit them then oh well, but if they miss their shots they can’t afford to allow the Warriors to get offensive rebounds and continue to jack up second chance shots. The insertion of Mozgov should be the answer for that.
Lebron’s Supporting Cast
We all knew that the Warriors had a really good supporting cast but these guys have been playing lights out in the Finals, but forget about them, what happened to Lebron James’ supporting cast? Coming into the finals all the commentators were raving about how well Kyrie, Love, J.R. and others were sharing the ball and shooting from behind the 3 point line. They looked like the best team in the NBA coming into the finals and it had less to do with Lebron James and more to do with his supporting cast. Kyrie was looking like a magician with the ball and he was finishing at the rim with pizazz. Love seemed to have found his groove and J.R. Smith was a sniper.
Well I don’t know what happened when this series started but Lebron’s supporting cast seemed to be content with making it to the Finals. Kyrie can’t seem to get free and he’s a major liability on defense. Love looks completely out of place and I’m not sure who that is out there with J.R.’s jersey on because that dude isn’t even shooting the ball.
The Cavs aren’t done, the series is 2-0 but there’s still a lot of basketball to play. I know most of this post was about the Cav’s supporting cast and what they need to do but it still comes back to Lebron James. Even though his stats look good on paper he hasn’t been playing his best ball. Lebron is going to have to play lights out for the Cavs to have any chance of winning.
It’s impressive that he’s been to six consecutive finals but he needs to come back and win this series to solidify himself as the second greatest player of all-time. That number one spot is going to take a little more work but we can discuss that in a later post.
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