Monday, April 18, 2016

Full Court Press 4.18.16: Cavaliers v. Pistons, Game 1 Recap

By Randy Groce, @ImissWiggins

The Detroit Pistons have nothing to lose and they played like it. Just as the Boston Celtics did a year ago against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, the Pistons came out attacking the Cavs early and often but still came up short losing, 106-101 on Sunday evening. Detroit probably shot the ball better than they will the entire series, but have nothing to show for it other than feeling like they can compete for the remainder of the series. 

The Cavaliers' "big three" Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love combined for 81 of the team's 106 points. One minute into the 4th quarter, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue called a timeout with the Cavs trailing by 7. Richard Jefferson nailed a three pointer and the Cavs were on their way to showing the NBA world that when they move the ball and play defense, they are a hard team to beat. 

But it wasn't all well and good. A few of the bad habits that the Cavs exhibited during the regular season popped up in this game: bad defensive rotations, poor ball movement, and falling in love with the three point shot.

The advantage the Cavs has, is that every team that they face in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference will not have as much talent as them, which bodes well because they sometimes lose focus. The Pistons were led in scoring by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 21 points. That's basically all you need to know. That along with Reggie Jackson becoming an over-dribbling ball hog, trying to will the team to a win on his own, despite adding 17 points. Detroit was 15-29 from three, but seeing that they are not a good three point shooting team, I wouldn't expect to see that type of shooting performance again. 

I'm not sure if the Cavs will get 80 plus from their top guys again, but you know LeBron has a big game or two in his system that's waiting to come out. Game 2 is Wednesday night at The Q. If Detroit has any hopes of making this series go beyond 4 or 5 games, they must somehow steal this game in Cleveland.

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