The Cavs face a dire situation tonight in Cleveland. They bombed not once but twice in Oakland, going down two games to the Warriors. And in those games, nothing they did seemed to work on a consistent level. Because of that, the Cavaliers are looking for answers as they return home for Games 3 and 4. One answer is for a more aggressive LeBron James. But that, of course, isn’t the only answer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving have been the second and third options for the Cavaliers all season long. And in the playoffs, Kyrie was actually leading the Cavaliers in scoring until the Eastern Conference Finals. But when the Cavs got to the Eastern Conference Finals, Games 3 and 4 shook Love and Irving off their rhythm. They recovered enough to win the series against the Raptors in six games, but those troubles in Games 3 and 4 against Toronto have seemed to follow these two to the NBA Finals. Along with the lack of ball movement, these two have not been as good as some thought they would have been in this series. Well, I have my own thoughts on how they can both be better in this series, but I talked to four-time NBA champion and current announcer and studio analyst Will Perdue about the struggles and what both Irving and Love needed to do to be more effective.
Offensively, Love and Irving are both talented players. But they seem to not be able to find something that works for them in this series. For Cleveland, they need them to get going and Perdue had some thoughts on what could get those chain of events going. “Cleveland needs to put him in the post. By putting him in the post, that will put pressure on the defense, especially if he is able to see the basketball go through the net. If he gains confidence there, the defense will have to double him and then off the ball movement, Kyrie can attack more off the dribble,” said Perdue when assessing the situation with Love and Irving. And Perdue makes perfect sense in what he says. The only problem I see coming from Love in the post is he has not been very physical. Provided he plays, he has to be more physical in the post. Trying to get post up Steph Curry and not putting him in the basket with the ball when you had that advantage in Game 2 was embarrassing. But if he can get some gumption about himself, then Love could make a difference down in the post and hurt the Warriors. As far as Kyrie, the ball movement would help create lanes for him, but that also means that Kyrie has to get to the basket and make it count. He has missed some shots under the basket this series and he also has been stripped a couple times when going to the basket. So while these adjustments could work, it will be up to Love and Irving to execute.
But the Cavs two other stars have not only been slacking offensively, but defensively as well. Kyrie has been on skates all series long and Love has been getting muscled inside. Asking Perdue about this one, he did not have any magic remedy for the Cavs: “Kyrie has to just be a better defender. He has to decide he wants to do whatever he takes to stay in front of his man. He has to step up and say ‘I got this.'” As for Love, Perdue had this to say: ” He has got to be a better rebounder ………………. (to read the complete article – click on link | http://ow.ly/Ir0c3012SPg
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former cohost of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.