KENNY’S KEYS TO A CAVS VICTORY IN GAME #2 OVER BOSTON
- START FAST – In Game #1 the Cavs looked rusty and Kevin Love looked nervous playing in his first ever playoff game. That allowed the Celtics to get off early, make shots, take a 31-27 lead into the 2nd quarter and it gave them confidence. In Game #2 with the rust and nervous gone, the Cavs need to come out aggressive at both ends of the floor, move the ball and jump on Boston from the get go to take away that confidence and impose their will on a far less talented team.
- KEEP THE PEDAL TO THE METAL – Once the Cavaliers did take control in Game #1, leading Boston by 20 points they started settling for shots instead of continuing to run their offense and play solid defense. This allowed the Celtics to crawl back to within 6 points in the 2nd half. In Game #2 once the Cavs get up by double-digits they need to keep their foot on the gas and play the game and not the scoreboard. Do what got you the big lead instead of taking for granted you have the big lead and think you can take any shot you want to. Finish them!
- THE BIG 3 NEED TO BE BIG AGAIN – When LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love score 65 or more points in a game the Cavaliers are (21-4) this year. They had 69 points in Game #1. For the Cavs to win the championship this season, those three players have to carry this team to the title. Yes, they have other players on this team who need to contribute, but Cleveland will only go as far as the “BIG 3” takes them. But the “BIG 3” need to take good shots, as opposed to just shooting because of who they are. As Kyrie Irving said in his post-game interview after Game #1, “We have to hold each other accountable. It’s as simple as it can be. We got together, we are the BIG 3. We have other great players on this team, but we set the tone.”
- CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS – The Cavs have a huge advantage under the basket with Love, LeBron, Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson. Those 4 players had 32 rebounds in Game #1, the Celtics as a team had 34. The Cavaliers not only outrebounded Boston in the first game of the series (46-34) but Cleveland dominated the offensive boards as well (15-7) which led to 18 second chance points. David Blatt’s team needs to continue to control the boards and in doing so it can limit Boston to one shot and it could lead to more fast break opportunities for the Cavs who only tallied 4 fast break points in Game #1.
- BALL MOVEMENT – For the most part in Game #1 we didn’t see a lot of the “Stankey Leg” offense by the Cavs. However, to get other players involved more in the offense better ball movement, consistent ball movement is a must. Work inside out. Move the ball side to side and make Boston’s defense work for the full 24 seconds of the shot clock. This will allow the “BIG 3” to still score their points, but it should also get Mozgov. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert more involved in the offense, getting them open looks.
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