MY CAVS-BULLS THOUGHTS THROUGH 2 GAMES

Saw this stat last night on either ESPN or TNT that I found very interesting and impressive, LeBron James recorded his 50th career playoff game with at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assist last night. The only player with more is Michael Jordan.

LeBron James’ 29 shot attempts Wednesday represented more than he has taken in any playoff game since he was with the Cavs in 2009. LeBron knew that and even talked        about it in his postgame press conference, mentioning it to Kyrie Irving and guess what;   the Cavs needed him to take every one of those shots because they needed him to be          aggressive because they were playing without Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.

It should come as no surprise that the Cavaliers played with more intensity and energy in Game #2 with LeBron James being more aggressive and the “Energizer Bunny” Tristan  Thompson in the starting lineup. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the return of the      headband! Superman has his cape, LeBron has his headband!

The last time LeBron James wore his headband before Wednesday night was on March 7 versus Phoenix at The Q. When I asked LeBron in the postgame press conference why he wore the headband he told me, “It was time for a comeback.”

Now, what are the next moves, adjustments for Cavaliers Coach David Blatt and a Bulls   coach Tom Thibodeau? Thibs was already working the officials in the post-game interview last night about Derrick Rose not having any free throws in the first two games and going back to game six against the Bucks. I’m Curious to see if Tom Thibodeau will make a lineup change with Joakim Noah or if he leaves him in to start the game, but plays him less   and less because Noah has been a non-factor in the series through two games.

David Blatt has some potential decisions to make with his line up too. J.R. Smith is           coming back from his two game suspension. Does he start him or bring him off the           bench? That decision could be made for him if Iman Shumpert’s groin injury is serious     enough to force him to miss Game #3. But if Shump can go, then what does Blatt do?     Either way James Jones and Kendrick Perkins did enough in Game #2 to earn more        playing time for the rest of this series.

A good sign for Cavs head coach David Blatt is, after his terrible decisions in Game #1 on the starting lineup, his timeouts and how to play the pick and roll, he made excellent       adjustments in Game #2. LeBron and Kyrie only played 34 minutes each in Game #2, but both looked totally drained, physically and mentally after the Cavs win. I’m anxious to see how Irving and James come out and play in Game #3 after such a taxing Game #2 on     their bodies and their minds.

Timofey Mosgov did not play well in Game #2 from this standpoint, he missed two dunks, his hands need a lot of work as he dropped a number of passes and rebounds. He needs   to hit the weights in the off-season and work on his hand-eye coordination.

When you sit back and really think about it it’s pretty impressive what the Cavs have        done. They lost Anderson Varejao to a season ending injury. They lost Kevin Love to a      postseason ending injury on a cheap shot by Kelly Olynyk. J.R. Smith was suspended for  two games. Now Iman Shumpert has a groin injury and may or may not play in Game #3and the other games moving forward. Yet the Cavs continue to overcome the adversity,    push forward, and just win. “Next Man Up” is indeed the motto of this team. They are not just saying that, they’re actually doing it!

If I am David Blatt and Iman Shumpert is 60 to 100 percent healthy and able to play, I    stay with him in the starting lineup and bring J.R. Smith off the bench. If Shumpert is 50 percent or less, then I start Smith and bring Iman off the bench or rest him for a game if he needs it.

The thing I’m most interested in with these Cavs is this:  After winning Game #2, how do  they create that same desperate, aggressive attitude/approach that the team played with  in Game #2, and duplicate it for Game #3 in Chicago on Friday night in front of a hostile crowd? It’s easy to do after a loss because your backs are against the wall, but where do you find it mentally to play that way after a lopsided win?

 

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