After getting embarrassed at home in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs by the Indiana Pacers 98-80, it’s painfully obvious that changes need to be made for the Cavaliers for Game 2 on Wednesday in Cleveland.
The first change I would make is with the starting line up and here’s how it should look:
PG- Jose Calderon
SG- J.R. Smith
SF- LeBron James
PF- Kevin Love
C- Larry Nance Jr.
Besides shuffling the starting line up , here are 6 other changes that should happen for the Cavaliers in Game 2:
1- He wasn’t right about much in Game 1 and we’ll get to that shortly, but Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue was right about this, his team has to come out for Game 2 with a completely different mind set. They need to be more physical, more intense and more inspired than the Pacers. I hate to think this way, but even after losing the season series to Indiana (3-1), maybe the Cavs still didn’t respect the Pacers because they swept Indy in the first round of the playoffs last year. Well, getting blown out in Game 1, at home, to start this series, should change that!
2- An aggressive, attacking LeBron James from the get go. He can wait 10 minutes into another playoff game with this Cavs team to take his 1st shot, they’re not good enough for that! He needs to score early and often to take the pressure off some of the new guys, as well as the vets on this team.
3- Head coach Ty Lue has to coach better. His decision to start Jeff Green in Game 1 and supposedly throughout the playoffs was a disaster. His decision to play Kyle Korver only 3 minutes in Game 1 was a disaster. His decision to play Jordan Clarkson some at PG in Game 1 instead of more minutes for Jose Calderon was a disaster. Ty Lue’s coaching in Game 1 was a disaster.
4- More for Lue to do. He has to play Jose Calderon at PG because he’s the best the Cavs have to offer at the PG position on this team and his basketball IQ is second only to LeBron James on the squad. This sample size is all the evidence you need, in games started by Calderon this season the team was 23-9 ! Case closed! George Hill is a major disappointment after being acquired in a trade. Use him off the bench to run the 2nd unit.
5- Kevin Love needs to demand the ball more on offense and take more than 8 shots in 34 minutes. He’s now the 2nd option on offense on this team and has to score 20 points a game if the Cavs are going to win. Kyrie Irving averaged 20 shots per game last year as the Cavs 2nd option, which was actually one more shot per game than LeBron.
6- Defensively the Cavs need to double-team Victor Oladipo. They need to blitz him, trap him and force him to give the ball up to his teammates and make Darren Collison beat you or Myles Turner beat you or Bojan Bogdanovic beat you. If those guys beat you, you live with it.