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Tag Archives: Tristan Thompson
Cavs are now 10-2 this postseason.
Cavs are now 6-1 on the road this postseason.
Cavs are 4-1 at home this postseason.
Cavs are now 44-11 in their last 55 games counting the regular season and postseason. That’s a winning percentage of (.800).
Cavs are now 20-9 in their last 29 road games counting the regular season and the postseason. That’s a winning percentage of (.690).
Cavs through 12 playoff games this season are holding opponents to just 91.4 points per game and 41 percent shooting from the field. They are the top defensive team in the NBA Playoffs.
Cavs have surrendered just 73, 89 and 82 points in their last 3 playoff games this season, all 3 on the road, and all 3 wins.
Cavs held the Hawks to 31 percent shooting and 38 points in the second half of Game #1 and 34 percent shooting and just 33 points in the second half of Game #2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Cavs have held the Hawks to 20 percent shooting (9-49) from 3-point country in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Cavs All-NBA First Team small forward LeBron James is averaging 27.2ppg-9.9rpg-8apg over the first 12 playoff games and 30.5ppg-8.5rpg-8.5apg vs Atlanta in the ECF.
Cavs leading scorer LeBron James is 14-0 in NBA Playoff series’ when leading that series 2 games to none. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats)
Cavs have 6 players averaging in double figures versus Atlanta in the ECF – LBJ-30.5ppg, J.R. Smith-18.5ppg, Tristan Thompson 10.5ppg and 13rpg, Timofey Mozgov 10ppg, Iman Shumpert 10ppg and Kyrie Irving 10ppg.
Cavs next game in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals is Sunday night at 8:30p at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cavs “Magic Number” to win the NBA Championship is 6.
LeBron James near triple/double of 30pts-11ast-9reb led the Cavaliers to a 2-0 series lead on Friday night in Atlanta. But while “The King” was indeed dominate, he got some help from a number of his teammates. Here’s my breakdown of the Game #2 win on head coach David Blatt’s 56th birthday…..
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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.
Cleveland’s “Batman and Robin”, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 54 points in the Cavs 106-91 Game #2 win over the Bulls to even their best of 7 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals series at one game apiece. Listen to what LeBron had to say about the return of his headband, Kyrie on Kevin Love being back with the team and more.
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ATTACK MODE FOR LEBRON JAMES – The King must not settle for jump shots, he must attack the basket and get to the free-throw line. He’s only shooting 17% from three point country this postseason, but he’s shooting 53% from inside the arc. Don’t settle, attack and shoot a minimum of 8 free throws every game the rest of the playoffs.
IT’S NOT MILLER TIME – Start James Jones, Tristan Thompson or even Shawn Marion and bring Mike Miller off the bench against the Bulls backups. Also give Kendrick Perkins some minutes as the backup center in this contest and let him throw his weight around against Joakim Noah.
HACK A NOAH – Speaking of Noah. Other teams use this strategy to their advantage so why not the Cavs? Joakim Noah is 1 for 12 from the free-throw line this postseason. Why not use that to your advantage, foul him and make him go to the free-throw line and try and score two points on two separate shots. Odds say he won’t do that.
5 GUYS ON A STRING – Communicate and figure out how to play the Bulls Pick n Roll and the Pick n Pop as a team vs Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol. The defense has to challenge those two, as well as every shot taken by Chicago’s perimeter shooters. The Cavs defense was horrific in Game #1 allowing the Bulls to shoot 50% from the field and 55% from the 3-point line, while only creating 10 turnovers against a team who came in to the series averaging over 17 turnovers a game in the postseason.
OFFENSIVE IMAN – Iman Shumpert, like he did against Boston with 15 points and in Game #1 against Chicago with 22 points, Shump must continue to score and be that third wheel to provide some offense along with LeBron and Kyrie.
BLATT BETTER COACH BETTER – Cavs had coach David Blatt needs to make better in game decisions and adjustments. He needs to call timeouts quicker and match up better with Chicago’s personnel. He was one of the main reasons the Cavaliers lost Game #1.
PICK UP THE PACE – The Cavs only scored two fast-break points in Game #1. The Cavaliers must pick up the tempo and push the ball to get easy baskets so Chicago can’t set up its half-court defense. Remember Chicago is 29-1 when they hold opponents to 92 points or less. Pick up the pace; score more than 92 points and you increase your chance of winning greatly.
PROTECT AND REBOUND – LeBron James must take better care of the basketball and the team must continue to value the basketball. Also the Cavaliers don’t necessarily need to dominate the boards but at least be even with Chicago in the rebounding category going against their BIGS with Kevin Love gone for the rest of the playoffs.
1 – TEAM WINDEX – With Kevin Love, one of the Cavs best rebounders out, the Cavaliers will have to send all 5 guys on the floor to the glass on the defensive end to clean up the Bulls misses and don’t give them many second chance opportunities. Plus, hope that Timofey Mozgov, LeBron James and Tristan Thompson get you some offensive boards for second chance baskets, because there are going to be a lot of missed shots in this series due to the defenses.
2 – VALUE THE BALL – The Bulls are known for their lockdown, aggressive, physical, half-court defense under Tom Thibodeau. Add to that the officials will probably let this be a very rough series if the Boston/Cavs match up was any indication. With that in mind, all Cavs players (especially Mozgov) must be strong with the ball at all times. Chicago will try and hip check the Cavs while playing their half-court “D”, play the passing lanes and double-team LeBron and Kyrie at times when they have the ball to force turnovers for easy run outs and fast break baskets. LeBron most of all, but other Cavs players must also be very careful of the cross-court pass. If you don’t zip it there and it’s a lazy pass with too much air under it, the Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler will pick it off like a defensive back and take it to the house for an easy 2 points.
3 – DYNAMIC DUO AND WHO? – When the “Big 3” were healthy and scoring 60 or more points per game the Cavaliers were almost unbeatable. Without Kevin Love the rest of the way the “Big 3” is down to “Batman and Robin”! LeBron and Kyrie are going to have to average a minimum of 25 points per game each for the Cavs to have a chance to win in this series and then hope that someone else from the “Justice League” shows up to help them fight off the evil Bulls and the NBA headed up by “The Joker” Adam Silver. Who will that be? Iman Shumpert in a starting role? J.R. Smith when he comes back from suspension? “The Janitor” – Tristan Thompson as his minutes should increase in this series? Or maybe “All The King’s Men” – James Jones, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and Kendrick Perkins! Realistically it’s going to have to be a combination of all of those guys to help make up for the loss of power forward Kevin Love’s 18 points per game and 9 rebounds per game he was averaging in the playoffs before he succumbed to an illegal arm bar by Ronda Rousey….err…..I mean Kelly Olynyk.
4 – CASH IN AT THE LINE – Points will be so hard to come by in this series with Chicago, so when you do get the chance to get some free ones, you got to make them. The Cavaliers as a team need to shoot at least 75% at the free throw line in this series.
5 – BLATTSKETBALL – David Blatt’s every move, every decision will be magnified in this series because the opponent is better and he’s coaching shorthanded with the loss of Love for the rest of the season, and Smith for the first two games. Who he decides to start, how long he plays him, how deep will his rotation will be, when does he call a time out, in-game adjustments, in-between game adjustments and offensive play calls after a time out are just some of things Blatt will have to be at the top of his coaching game for the Cavs to have a chance in this series. Hopefully he will rely on assistant coaches like Tyronn Lue, Larry Drew and others who have either played or coached in these situations before.
6 – BRING THE “D” – When offense is hard to come by in this series, and it will be at times, the Cavs must play team defense like they’ve never played before this season. Chase Mike Dunleavey off the 3-point line. Close the lanes so Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler won’t drive as much and if they do then Timofey Mozgov must be there to challenge their shots. Your shot doesn’t always travel, but defense does. Play “D” and you’ll be in every game with a chance to win it at the end and like the Cavs chances in a close game with finishers like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
7 – KEEP YOUR HEAD – Joakim Noah, Mike Dunleavey and who knows who else will try and muck up this series with hard fouls, taunts and some pushing and shoving. They’ll do this because they know they aren’t as talented as the Cavaliers and they’ll try and take the Cavs out of their game and get in their heads like Boston did last series. As dirty as it was, and it meant losing a player to a serious injury last series, the Cavs can’t afford to lose any other players to ejections or suspensions in this series. Cleveland must keep it’s cool, (maybe with the exception of Kendrick Perkins) and don’t do anything stupid that would jeopardize losing a game or affecting the series in a negative way.
PREDICTION: Even with the loss of Kevin Love for the remainder of the playoffs and without J.R. Smith in the first two games, the Cavs still have the best player in the world in LeBron James and one of the up and coming superstars in this league in Kyrie Irving, along with home court advantage. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cleveland lost one of the first two games, but then went on the road and stole one back from Chicago and that would set things up for a great Game #7 at “The Q” in which the Cavaliers will prevail over the Bulls and advance on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
- 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.