A repeat of Game 1 cannot happen for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2.
The Indiana Pacers took it to the Clevleand Cavaliers as the Cavs dropped the opening game of the first round. Cleveland looked laid back and simply was not ready, while the Pacers were ready from the get-go. So much for a sweep.
Game 2 is Wednesday night so what needs to change going into that game? Well, first off, regardless of what Cleveland needs to do, it was just one game. If Cleveland continues to demonstrates concerns Wednesday night, then the concern meter should heat up.
Despite the opening loss, nothing out of the ordinary should change the confidence level right now. This is the team that won six of their last eight regular season games; they are going to get back to winning even though it has been difficult to do versus the Pacers this season (1-4).
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The Cavs are too talented to not play up to their standard of play. The players can also only control so much.
Looking ahead, I know Tyronn Lue was the head coach when Cleveland won it all in 2016, but man, what has gone wrong since then? Lue does not seem to keep the players as accountable as he as in past and especially not as much as Larry Drew did earlier this season. If the accountability factor was influenced, perhaps Cleveland would have made it a game on Sunday.
Sticking with a specific lineup/rotation also needs to stop. When something is not working, one adjusts. It is time for Lue to do just that.
Speaking of adjustments, Jeff Green played liked Tristan Thompson has played. Green did not score and was an overall liability in Game 1. Green needs to turnaround his game and do it fast. Thompson played just two minutes in the first game and I am fine with that.
What I have an issue with though was the lack of playing time for Cedi Osman. He also had jsut two minutes. If Osman was out there, Cleveland would benefit. Giving Osman addiitional playing time now will help Cleveland down the stretch when they face the Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, etc, assuming they advance to those necessary rounds.
Arguably the most head-scratching move was not Osman, Thompson, or Green. It was how and when Cleveland used Jose Calderon. The veteran guard is the biggest surprise on the roster. He showed for another season that there is still energy left in the tank. Yet, he was not given much of an opportunity. Hmm…. interesting.
So, some things can be controlled on the court such as player performance (Green), but other aspects like playing time goes through Lue. If he doesn’t let his ego stay in the way then the Cavs could be down 0-2 and displeasure should be expressed strictly at Lue. Still, I wouldn’t read too much into anything… yet.