The Cleveland Cavaliers lost Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals in heartbreaking fashion. Cleveland had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but George Hill missed the go-ahead free throw with 4.7 seconds left to play. JR Smith grabbed the offensive rebound and inexplicably dribbled the ball to half court and basically, ran out the clock.The Warriors won 124-114 in overtime.
LeBron James had one of the greatest performances in the history of the NBA Finals. The man they call “The King” scored 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in 48 minutes. Kevin Love had an impressive performance as well, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
The Warriors “Big 3” of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant combined for 79 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists. Draymond Green continues to do everything on the court. He had 13 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks. Green continues to be the agitator on the floor and will continue to “cross the line” until the refs or a player stops him.
Game 2 Adjustments:
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue didn’t make many adjustments during the Boston Celtics series but he has to change things up in Game 2 and for the rest of the series. If he doesn’t, the Cavs will get swept and he will be out of a job next season.
When you look at Cleveland’s starting backcourt they have provided no offense. George Hill is averaging 9 points, Smith is averaging 8 points and Tristan Thompson is averaging 5 points. The three are averaging 22 points combined per game. Power Forward, Kevin Love is scoring 14 points per game. So the 4 starters along side James are averaging 36 points. To put that in perspective, Durant is leading the Warriors scoring 28.8 points per contest. So how does Lue get more offense?
Sit Jordan Clarkson (4.9 points per game) insert Jose Calderon. The Veteran point guard is scrappy and unlike Clarkson can hit the open three consistently. He would be a calming influence and a perfect option when LeBron drives and “kicks” out to the wings or top of the key.
Play Smith less, play Kyle Korver more and implement 6’8 Rodney Hood into the lineup. Hood can shoot from behind the three and can get to the rim. Whatever internal issues they have, squash them to the off-season.
Play Larry Nance Jr. about 25 minutes a game. Thompson provides hustle plays and defense but he can’t finish around he rim. Nance had 9 points, 11 rebounds in 19 minutes. his athleticism and energy provides a huge boost off the bench.
Steve Kerr did a nice job of changing his lineup at half-time of Game 1. Kerr started JaVale McGee and he provided some defense and points. I expect McGee to get more playing time Sunday night.
Take the ball out of LeBron’s hands. Other than Kevin Love there is no one on this Cavs roster who is capable of scoring 25 points a night. Why let LeBron beat you? Kerr should double team LeBron early and often, wear him down over 4 quarters.
Kerr will go to a bigger lineup. The Cavs out rebounded GS 53-38 in Game 1. Look for McGee, David West and even Zaza Pachulia to get some minutes
The Warriors dont lose many games at home during the playoffs. The Cavs had their chance in Game 1 but Smith and Hill, kind of choked. They ruined what would have been one of the most dominant performances of all-time, by LeBron James.
The Cavs just dont have the talent to compete for 7 games. I expect Kerr to take the ball out of LeBron’s hands and other players will have to step up. If Lue makes these adjustments, they can win. Unfortunately, for Cleveland fans, I don’t see that happening.
The Warriors win 111-99
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I am a former AAU and College basketball coach as well as a Former Stand Up Comedian. Over the past two years I have written over 500 articles for numerous websites. I am the former host of The Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ radio in New Jersey. I am now the host of my own podcast. The Full Monte airs every Thursday at 6PM Eastern (Sports and Politics) and The Full Monte Football Show airs every Sunday 11 AM. Over the past 2 years I have been a featured guest or host on over 200 radio shows and podcasts. For bookings send emails to Monteinsidesports @gmail.com Follow me on Twitter MonteAJP23