LEBRON 30 FOR 30 – With how hampered this team is with injuries, and even though LeBron James is playing with a sore left ankle, “The King” needs to find a way to get the Cavaliers about 30 points per game even if it means taking 30 shots per game over the next two or three games in order for the Cavs to win this series against the Bulls and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
DON’T FALL BLATT ON YOUR FACE – Tyronn Lue and LeBron James bailed out the Cavaliers first year head coach in Game #4. Lue with a better tackle than most Browns players made last year on Blatt so he wouldn’t get a technical for calling a time out he didn’t have, and James for telling Blatt to stick his original out of bounds play call where the sun don’t shine and demanding the ball and then delivering the game winning shot. In my opinion, Blatt has failed miserably in Games #1 and #4 in this series and the Cavs are lucky to be tied 2-2 with the Bulls. He has to do a better job of managing the game with time outs, player substitutions, play calls and having a feel for the game. He has to flat out coach better and not have a relapse of what happened in Games #1 and #4.
FIND A SECOND SCORING OPTION – With Kevin Love out for the playoffs and while Kyrie Irving is playing, he’s suffering from two big time injuries that have limited him, so the Cavs need someone to step up and be that #2 scorer. For three games it was Iman Shumpert who filled the void, averaging over 18 points per game, but he ended up suffering an injury in this series and is also playing hurt and it has affected his ability to score. So now it’s time for either J.R. Smith or Timofey Mozgov to rise to the occasion and become the second offensive weapon the Cavaliers need in the remaining two or three games is series.
GET TO THE FREE THROW LINE – Cleveland is struggling on offense right now, so the Cavs have to be the aggressor, attack the rim, and force the officials, as horrible as they’ve been, to have to make a call. This way you get a chance at two uncontested shots to put points on the board. Also the more aggressive you are, the better chance you have of getting into the bonus early and that could be a major plus, since as a team the Cavaliers are shooting 86% from the charity stripe in this series so far.
BOARD DOMINATION – This one is real simple. Led by LeBron, Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov and whoever else, the Cavaliers must dominate the boards and win the offensive and defensive rebounding battle the rest of this series. They must limit the Bulls second chance opportunities and create as many second chance opportunities for themselves to score easy buckets.
VALUE THE BALL – While the entire team must focus on this stat, it is imperative that LeBron James take it to heart and cut his turnovers per game in this series in half. LBJ is averaging nearly 6 turnovers per contest against the Bulls. That number has to come down to 3 or maybe 4 at the most. James needs to protect the ball better when Jimmy Butler is up on him defensively and not make so many lazy passes.
DEFENSE – Another simple one, but it is “Mucho Importante”! With how bad the Cavs offense has been, the reason they are tied 2-2 in this series with the Bulls is because of their defense. The Bulls are not a good shooting team and the more pressure you apply on the defensive end, the worse they become at trying to put the ball in the basket. So ratchet up your defense in Games # 5,# 6 and if necessary Game #7, and you’re your chances of winning that game, and the series increase dramatically.
SHOT SELECTION – The Cavs are shooting far too many 3’s in this series. I know all season they have been a team that feasts on the 3-pointer, but against a good defensive team like the Bulls who are trying to take away that shot, or at least challenge every one of them, you might want to try and dial it back a bit. The Cavs are shooting 28 treys a game, but only making 34% of them and LeBron’s percentage is at a season low 10% from 3-point country. Attack the basket more and get fouled, and to my earlier point, take advantage of scoring points at the free throw line where you are shooting 86% as a team and LeBron is hitting 85% of his freebies.