Cavs’ Game Plan Out of Sync and Out of Style Against Modern-Age Warriors

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Do we know what would make this a fairer fight?

Russell Westbrook joins a Cleveland Cavaliers for Game 2.

Everyone got a refresher slap in a face about how absurd it was for a 73-9 Golden State Warriors organisation to supplement one of a best players in a universe during the Kevin Durant-driven 113-91 Game 1 subjection Thursday.

Not usually is Westbrook available—according to his social-media sharing, he spent Thursday examination Whoopi Goldberg’s 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back in a Habit—but his one-man-show character would fit a Cleveland organisation mostly out of step with a approach many of a NBA has gone, toward a zip-passing, floor-spacing, ball-sharing Warriors.

“Playing iso round has helped us get to this point, and it gave us success in a final 3 years,” LeBron James pronounced after Game 1. “So we don’t wish to have a high, solid diet of it, since a invulnerability becomes low and a players turn stagnant, though that’s partial of a package.”

That means a Cavs can’t transform themselves overnight a approach Durant spent a whole deteriorate deprogramming himself of those ball-stopping tendencies he grown alongside Westbrook with a Oklahoma City Thunder.

All credit to Durant for being stretchable adequate to change (with copiousness of prodding from Draymond Green during a season) though diluting his effectiveness. In Game 1 he threw passes before he even indispensable to, nonetheless he still scored 38 points. That didn’t occur all too mostly when he common a same justice with Westbrook, and that my-turn-your-turn character didn’t work Thursday night for a Cavaliers.

For a high particular use form of offense Cleveland runs with James and Kyrie Irving to work opposite a invulnerability as good during overloading opposite a ball-handler as Golden State’s, there has to be extensive execution. In sharpened 34.9 percent as a organisation with 20 turnovers, there clearly wasn’t in Game 1. For as many as Golden State’s invulnerability deserves credit for that, so too Cavs conduct coach Tyronn Lue deserves censure for unwell to ready his organisation in a prolonged layoff before Game 1.

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You could even hear it hidden in Kyle Korver’s voice as he sensitively mentioned in a postgame locker room how a weak-side players could be put in “better position” around “more transformation or actions.”

He wasn’t alone.

“As a group, we wish to pierce a round a tiny bit better,” Richard Jefferson added.

Offense has been easy for Cleveland this deteriorate since of James and Irving, both shining during holding whoever is in front of them. Irving’s 28.8 percent isolation frequency leads all players in a playoffs, even aloft than Westbrook’s 26.8. Offense was altogether approach too easy in a Eastern Conference playoffs—43.5 percent on three-pointers—when common defenses gave Lue and a Cavs a false clarity of security entering a NBA Finals.

Lue pronounced Wednesday he suspicion one-on-one play would be glorious as prolonged as a Cavs singular turnovers.

Against a Warriors defense, that’s like observant we can eat as many desserts as we wish though extent a calories.

It’s unrealistic.

Chalk it adult as one component of relief from being a champs. Lue is, after all, a comparatively fresh conduct coach. And maybe Irving’s iconic, Game 7-turning, contested jumper was in a tiny approach fool’s gold.

It’s already apparent a Cavaliers will have to govern during a extremely aloft turn with Durant on a floor, an further that not usually provides a Warriors with one of a game’s many energetic scorers though also another legit primary defender opposite James.

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Much of Cleveland’s over-dribbling and inefficiency in Game 1 was on James for his 8 turnovers and Irving for his four; a Warriors had 4 turnovers in total. But Golden State also baited James and Irving into pushing toward assistance defenders while during other times relying on their glorious particular defenders to pull them off their elite sharpened spots.

The frightful thing is Game 1 wasn’t tighten to Golden State’s best execution of defensive rotations, definition that even if Lue shores adult his schemes and his organisation gets a round relocating side to side, a Warriors competence still have a answers.

“We really wish to be some-more in a 20s in assists,” James pronounced after a Cavaliers had all of 15 assists in Game 1.

In contrast, a Warriors had 31 assists on 45 margin goals, recording their sixth 30-assist diversion this postseason. Durant had 8 on his own. The Warriors have polished a complicated game, that is easier to do when we have roughly ideal personnel.

Coming into this series, a Cavaliers suspicion they had softened crew than final year too.

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Before Game 1, Jefferson attempted to sell a thought that Cleveland had softened with a additions of Deron Williams and Korver in place of Matthew Dellavedova and Mo Williams.

“You’re adding guys in a primary of their careers to a organisation that won a championship,” Jefferson pronounced of Williams, 32, and Korver, 36. “So, yes, they combined Kevin Durant; we consider we combined some depth. we consider both teams are better.”

They combined Kevin Durant.

Any possibility no one would notice if Westbrook attempted to trip into Deron Williams’ Cleveland uniform for Game 2 on Sunday?


Kevin Ding is an NBA comparison author for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @KevinDing.

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