Kenny’s Keys to a Cavaliers Series Win
A Different Defense – Head coach Tyronn Lue has hinted that his team will play a different defense than what we saw in the regular season. Let’s hope so, because their defense through 82 games has been horrible. It must improve if they want to get out of the Eastern Conference, let alone a win an NBA Championship. This is the most important factor heading into the series with the Pacers and throughout the playoffs. No defense, no chance!
Better Point Guard Play – Derrick Rose stunk! Isaiah Thomas was terrible. George Hill has been inconsistent. The only point guard who has played well for the Cavaliers has been Jose Calderon. He probably won’t start because Hill will get that opportunity, but Ty Lue better not hesitate to go to Calderon if Hill is performing poorly because Jose has been the best point guard all season for the Cavs and he deserves to play!
A Whole Lotta Love – Kevin Love must score 20 to 25 points a game and average a double/double for the Cavaliers in this Pacers series and throughout the playoffs if the Cavs are to reach their fourth straight NBA Finals!
Can You Count On The Kids – The Cavaliers wanted to get younger and more athletic at the trading deadline and they did. But which of these inexperienced kids will handle the playoff pressures and step up for the Cavs? Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood or Jordan Clarkson? If healthy, Hood should have the best chance to do so, while Nance needs to make the most of his minutes. Clarkson may or may not get time this postseason, but he needs to be ready just in case. At least one of these three needs to perform at a high level to help the Cavs.
A Vet Clinic – Because you’re not sure about the kids and if any of them will play well in the postseason, you need a veteran starter, or a role player to step their game up. The candidates are Kyle Korver, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson. How will Lue use Thompson, if at all, is a big question mark in this series. However it goes down though, one of those three must put on a clinic in either rebounding, 3-point shooting or on defense and impact this series in a big way.
Shot Selection – The Cavaliers have a tendency to fall in love with the 3-point shot even if they aren’t making it. The players and the coaches need to have a good feel for the game to see what is working and what is not. If the 3’s aren’t falling, then attack the basket for higher percentage shots, which could also create opportunities at the free-throw line.
A Healthy King – As long as LeBron James is healthy, the Cavaliers have a chance to win every series they play in this year in the East and even in the NBA Finals against either the Warriors or the Rockets! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and just focus on this first round match up with a very good Pacers team.
The Cavaliers went 12-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year in route to their 3rd straight NBA Finals. It won’t be that easy this year starting with this first series. Victor Oladipo and the Pacers are young and hungry and aren’t afraid of the Cavs who they beat 3 times in 4 regular season games. But the postseason is a whole different ballgame! The Cavs will have to work hard in this first series, and adhere to their playoff slogan this year “Whatever It Takes”, but the X-Factor as it always is, will be LeBron James, and he will be the difference maker because like most teams, Indiana doesn’t have an answer for him!
I like the CAVS in 5 hard fought games.