SMOKE 'EM IF YA GOT 'EM
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Officials: Danny Crawford (#43), Tony Brown (#6), Ron Garretson (#10), Brent Barnaky (#36)
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Cleveland Notes
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM, 107.5 FM / WTAM 1100 FM
NBA Feeds: NBA Audio & Broadband League Pass (subscription req'd)
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Season Records: (W-L) 0 42-42
Upcoming Games: April 23 April 25 April 27 vs at vs ABC - 1:00pm TBD - 7:00pm TBD - 7:00pm
Projected Starting Lineup: TURNER YOUNG GEORGE ELLIS TEAGUE Projected Starting Lineup: THOMPSON LOVE JAMES SMITH IRVING
J.R. Smith - questionable (hamstring)
Minimally Relevant Video:
Nylon Calculus: On the Cavs and flipping the proverbial switch in the playoffs
There was one burning question about the Cavaliers on everyoneís minds going into the playoffs:
could they flip the switch? Could LeBronís sheer force of will elevate the defense which was stuck
in what can only kindly be described as a rut since the All-Star break (and before the break, if
weíre being honest with ourselves)?
After the first two playoff games, they havenít exactly done much to allay those concerns. Letís
get the obvious news out of the way ó this Cleveland defense is Alexanderís terrible, horrible, no
good, very bad day embodied as a basketball team.
The table below looks at the defensive ratings for different combinations of Cavaliers players.
There hasnít really been any combination of the Cavaliersí core rotation players that has proven
to be effective this season. Donít be fooled by the patches of green. Their defense has been so
leaky that defensive ratings like 105 and 106 show up as good relative to the rest of the team.
In fact, their only ray of light had been DeAndre Liggins, but the offense was not sustainable
with Liggins playing extended stretches, which is a critical impediment to a team that will need
to put up points in bunches to win. Also, they released him before the playoffs started.
Itís one thing to assume that LeBron can flip a switch on defense. Itís another thing entirely to
assume that the Cavs as a whole can flip a switch, especially when none of the other players
have given us any reason to believe as such. Of the Cavaliersí top 11 players in minutes played
this season, Liggins led the team in Defensive Box Plus-Minus at 2.0, followed by James at 1.6
and Tristan Thompson at 1.4. The other 8 players are either negative or at zero, which is
absurd for a team with title aspirations.
To compound matters...CONTINUE READING AT NYLON CALCULUS
Hoops Habit: Essential Pacers Adjustments Going Into Game 3
The Indiana Pacers have been competitive, but find themselves down 2-0 in their first-round
series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are the adjustments Indiana must make to turn
the tide against Cleveland.
The Pacers have lost two games to the Cavaliers by a combined seven points in their first-round
playoff series thus far. While that may be somewhat encouraging to a No. 7 seed playing on the
road against a No. 2 seed, improvements need to be made if the Pacers plan to do more than
just make a good showing in defeat.
Here are the key areas that will determine whether or not Indiana can get back into this series
and pose a real threat to LeBron James and the Cavs.
Indiana has mostly been switching defensively on the pick-and-roll and that strategy has been
disastrous for the Pacers.
The Cavaliers have done a good job of using this to exploit mismatches, perhaps the biggest
being Jeff Teague getting switched onto LeBron James.
The Pacers either need to stop switching, or come with a double-team when these mismatches
occur. Switching and then leaving someone like Teague on an island against LeBron is a horrible
scenario for Indiana.
Another defensive issue for the Pacers has been the lack of execution in terms of team defense.
Help in the paint is either coming far too late or not at all, and rotating and closing out on
shooters has rarely been seen so far in this series.
Cleveland is one of the best offensive teams in the NBA, and when you combine that with
Indianaís ďmatadorĒ defense, that is a formula for a Cavs sweep.
The Pacers players know what to do, they simply arenít doing it. Give help on drives and close
out on shooters ó it isnít complicated, but it takes more focus and energy than Indiana is
showing on that end of the floor so far.
Going into the series...CONTINUE READING AT HOOPS HABIT
140 Characters of (Non-PD) Coverage