3. Defense trending up
If the Warriors are un-Warrior like, the Cavs defense will help immensely.
Cleveland’s defense was bad during the regular season, but the Cavaliers have flipped the switch.
The Cavs were 26th in the NBA during the regular season, allowing 109.9 points per game, but are allowing just 99.3 points per game through the playoffs. That’s slightly better than the Warriors, who are allowing 100.3 points per contest.
Additionally, the Cavs have never had a defensive point guard like George Hill when facing Golden State in June.
For as great as Kyrie Irving was offensively, he was a liability on offense.
Hill posted one of the more noticeable numbers to come out of the Cavs Game 7 win in the Eastern Conference Finals. Hills plus/minus was +24.
That seems incredibly high for a guy who scored just five points. While fans may have been frustrated with his offensive game, that number indicates Hill was playing some good defense.
J.R. Smith even looked to be engaged defensively as the Cleveland eliminated the Celtics.
If you get Hill and Smith playing defense, along with Jeff Green trying to slow down Kevin Durant, in addition to LeBron James, who can be an elite defender when he chooses to be, you just never know.