Over-reliance on hero ball
The number of junk shots I saw, especially in the second half of Game 5 was atrocious. There was no sense of an offensive system. Especially from Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell would sit at the top of the key, play a game of pick-and-pop with whoever the up-big was, usually Jarrett Allen, and then take a hand-off and jack up a terrible shot.
There was no emphasis on trying to get the ball moving. No one was working to try and get open, they were sitting on their hands waiting for Mitchell, or to a lesser extent Darius Garland, to decide to either shoot or pass. The offense slammed shut when they were in the half-court for this very reason.
The Cavs’ offense thrived off of points off of turnovers, especially in transition, during the regular season. This was something the Knicks minimized to great effect across the entire series. The team lacked any real three-point shooting presence (24th in the league in attempts) and coupled with the worst pace of play in the league, led the Cavs to have a putrid offense.
The Miami Heat, who are moving onto the second round, was the 29th team in the league in pace of play, but they were 10th in the league in three-pointers attempted. You can’t be slow and unwilling to try to shoot threes.
The over-emphasis on Mitchell and Garland stunted this team’s offensive production.