The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round series in the NBA Playoffs. But it was no cakewalk, as Boston trimmed the Cavalier 20-point leads to single digits numerous times in the game. Here are five adjustments the Cavs can make in order to keep Boston at bay and put them away early among the roaring crowd in the Q:
5. Get Mozzy The Ball!
Timofey Mozgov has a distinct advantage over every Celtics’ big man being a bulky 7’1″. Mozzy has to go up against the likes of Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, and Jared Sullinger, so Mozzy should easily be able to work the big men down low like he did here:
Click “Next” below to the see the fourth adjustments the Cavs can to make to beat the Celtics in Game 2!
4. More Ball Movement, Less Turnovers
Cleveland moved the ball around a lot in Game 1, but that only resulted in 19 assists on 37 made field goals and 12 turnovers. Boston had 24 assists on 37 made field goals to go along with 14 turnovers.
Boston is doing a better job of moving the ball so far even without having that one superstar, so Cleveland will need to get more ball movement around the perimeter and inside to get better looks at the basket.
Click “Next” below to the see the third adjustments the Cavs can to make to beat the Celtics in Game 2!
3. Bench Production
With Isaiah Thomas coming off of the Boston bench, its clear the Celtics have an advantage over the Cavs bench as they don’t ahve a go-to guy off the bench. That being said, Cleveland needs more production from their bench. Tristan Thompson did a great job off of the bench, but Boston looked to implement the ‘Hack-A-Shaq’ on Thompson who made 4-of-6 at the line. Cleveland will need Shumpert’s defense and Delly’s activity off the bench to keep the Celtics at bay.
Click “Next” below to the see the second adjustments the Cavs can to make to beat the Celtics in Game 2!
2. Points in the Paint
We all know the Cavs like to shoot a lot of threes, but Cleveland needs to take the ball to the basket more often than they did in Game 1. Kyrie got hot, and that led to other Cavs taking long-range jumpers. Even with the distinct advantage the Cavs have in size, strength, and quickness, Boston still outscored them 42-40 in points in the paint.
Click “Next” below to the see the number one adjustments the Cavs can to make to beat the Celtics in Game 2!
1. Crowd Isaiah Thomas
Everyone knew Thomas was going to have a huge impact on this series, but Cleveland cannot continue to let him get 22 points and 10 assists off that Boston bench. He’s just the 5th player off bench since 1985 with 20+ points, 10+ assist game in playoffs. If Cleveland pressures the 5’9″ Thomas, the Celtics offense becomes much more stagnant and easier to defend. Albeit being a circus shot, driving lanes like these have to be cut off: