Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Full Court Press 4.26.16: The Cavaliers... On To The Next One

By Randy Groce, @ImissWiggins

No big celebrations and no one said I told you so.

Following Sunday's win over the Pistons, the Cavs were already focused on their next opponent in the conference semifinals. After defeating the Detroit Pistons 100-98 in the closest game of the series, the Cavaliers will now patiently wait to see who'll they will face between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics. That series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 tonight. Check "TV Tonight" here on TripleThreatCLE.com later today for time and channel.

This year's matchup between the Cavs and the Pistons was very similar to the series that the Cavs played against the Boston Celtics in the first round last year. The Celtics were a tenacious, gritty, trash talking group who led every game last year but simply did not have enough talent to overcome the Cavaliers. The almost same exact thing can be said about this year's opponent, in the Detroit Pistons.

They were well coached and gave everything they had, but the Cavaliers simply have too many pieces that can win a game on any given night. You can argue that Detroit might have had the best four game stretch of shooting that they've had all season, and it still wasn't enough to overcome the firepower of the Cavs. When Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris, who are very good role players, are two of your best players, you're gonna find yourself struggling to beat a team that features three of the best players in the league. 

Kyrie was the MVP for the Cavs in the first round. His clutch shooting and solid defense led the team almost every game. LeBron's minutes have increased during the playoffs, but with Kyrie and Kevin Love stepping up offensively, he's basically being allowed to pace himself until his heroics are needed. Coach Ty Lue has done an excellent job of game planning and making adjustments in his first appearance in the playoffs as a head coach. Lue made a habit of starting LeBron James in the second and fourth quarters while surrounding him with good outside shooters. After game one in which James, Love, and Irving scored 81 points, the bench stepped up the rest of the series. 

Facing off against this Pistons team was a good way for the Cavs to get started. The series was physical and fast paced, something they'll definitely see a few more times on this championship journey. The Cavs will get a nice rest before the start of their next series (which isn't until May 2), but more importantly they'll start the next series healthy.

If they're able to shoot the ball as well against Atlanta or Boston as they did against Detroit, I think they'll be OK.

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