Cavalier Grades For 1st Round Of The Playoffs

Starters

Kyrie Irving   Grade = A

In his first playoff series Irving played well offensively. No weakness on offense can score off the bounce, mid-range or downtown. Needs to guard better in the 2nd round of playoffs.

J.R. Smith Grade = C

Smith made his first big mistake since joining Cleveland with Jae Crowder incident. Swish has played solid defense better than expected. Smith becomes 3rd option with Love out, but will miss the first two games of the next series.

Timofey Mozgov Grade = B

Mozgov played decent in this series. He was like the fifth option on offense with most of his points coming off pick and rolls. He did protect the rim pretty good.

Kevin Love Grade = B

Before the injury Love looked like was finding his groove. Love had to two good games before going down. We will have to wait until next year if he opts in.

Lebron James Grade = A

King James does what he does being the best at his craft. It’s championship or bust at this point. Lebron is going to do his part it’s other players who need to step to bring the gold to Cleveland.

The Bench

Iman Shumpert Grade = B

Shumpert played great defense along with some bonus offense. We need more of that as the playoffs continue.

Tristan Thompson Grade = B

Thompson is offensive rebounding machine one of the best in the league. Another player Cleveland will need to get more out of as the playoffs move on.

James Jones Grade = C

The specialist wasn’t hitting the three ball in this series. He has to hit that shot to make up for being a defensive liability.

Matthew Dellavedova Grade = C

Delly will play enough to give Kyrie a breather.

Kendrick Perkins Grade = Inc

Can u say enforcer?

Shawn Marion Grade = Inc

Just a cameo appearance.

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Game #7 Cleveland 122 Boston 121

A couple things we learned from this game is Cleveland is going to score the basketball and play zero defense. Cleveland has averaged 116 points per game over the last three games, while giving up 111 points. Lucky Cleveland best defensive quarter came the 4th when they held Boston to 20 points. Kyrie and Lebron are starting to figure it out on offense, while KLove is struggling a bit to find his niche in this offense. Lebron scored 41 points on 26 shots and dropped 7 dimes. While Kyrie scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half along 5 assists and 3 steals. Love finished with 12 points on 10 shots. He grabbed 15 boards and had 4 assists.

  • Cleveland had 6/10 FG to assist ratio 31% in the 2nd half
  • Boston had 18/24 FG to assist ratio 75% in the 2nd half.

Cleveland has won three in row with a lot home games coming up. Let’s see if home cooking gets this train rolling. There is much to  do for this team to get better.

Eastern Conference Finals GM #6 Heat 98 Celtics 79

It was weird watching Lebron go off Thursday night. This was how he played when he was in Cleveland and probably his most dominating performance with the Miami Heat when it counts. Beating Boston by 19 in their house was big and sends the Heat back to South Beach for a game 7 for a win and go home situation.

Point Guard

Rondo had another great game with 21 points and 10 dimes, but the 7 turnovers were critical in this loss. He will need to protect the ball better tonight.Chalmers is role player looking for spot up shots. The Heat took him off Rondo in this game.

Edge: Celtics

Shooting Guard

Wade got off to another slow start, but ended up with 17 points. He also drew the job of  defending Rondo. I am not sure you want Wade on Rondo. It may take away from him on the offensive end. Ray Allen isn’t getting enough looks on offense. He only took 7 shots in 30+ minutes and had 10 points.

Edge: Heat

Center

KG had his first subpar game in a while scoring 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Garnett will need to bring it tonight if the Celtics are going to make it close. He will need 20+ points and 10+ rebounds. The Heat don’t even have center and nothing to speak of here.

Edge: Celtics

Small Forward

Lebron did what he needed to do to get the Heat to game 7. Next to Rondo this was the best performance in the playoffs this year. Paul Peirce can’t go 4-18 from the field tonight or the Celtics will be blown out again.

Edge: Heat

Power Forward

Bass again played good with 12 points and 7 boards. This is good production for Bass and Boston will need that again tonight. Battier just spots up from shots and plays defense.

Edge: Celtics

Benches

Nothing special happen for either teams benches Thursday. Both benches will be important tonight if is a close game.

Edge: Even

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Eastern Conference Finals GM #5 Celtics 94 Heat 90

The Boston Celtics went into American Airlines Arena to beat the Miami Heat and take control of this series. A clutch three pointer by Paul Pierce, along with free throws by Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen sent the Celtics to a 94-90 win.

Point Guard

Rondo had an off shooting night, but he made up for it with his playmaking and hustle plays. Chalmers played a decent game, but he needs to step up over these next two games to ease the burden on the Big 3.

Edge: Celtics

Shooting Guard

Dwayne Wade had a slow start,but he picked it up in the second half. Wade scored 27 points, but it didn’t impact the game the way you thought it would.Ray Allen’s play is getting better each game in this series. Allen is due for a scoring explosion, which doesn’t bode well for the Heat.

Edge: Heat

Center

Kevin Garnett is the MVP of this series so far. The Heat have nobody to guard him and the Celtics are taking full advantage of that. One more performance like last night and Celtics could be in the NBA Finals once again.

Edge: Celtics

Small Forward

Lebron James got his usual 30+ points, but it wasn’t a dominating performance that puts your team over the top. Paul Pierce didn’t play that well, but he was clutch when the Celtics needed him.

Edge: Heat

Power Forward

Brandon Bass scored 10 points and hauled in 4 boards. While Shane Battier wasn’t factor on offense or defense. Not much production coming from this position.

Edge: Even

Benches

Neither bench did much except Pietrus finally showed up on offense. The bench production will critical in the next two games if it goes that far.

Edge: Celtics

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Eastern Conference Finals Preview

This should be interesting series to see if the Boston Celtics can hang with Heat. The Heat are four games from getting back to the finals. Let’s look at the matchups.

Point Guard

Rondo is one of the best lead guards in the league who can have a great effect on the game. Chalmers will have to keep him under control because he can dominate a game with his passing and penetration. If Chalmers can’t handle this assignment look for James to guard Rondo.

Edge: Celtics

Shooting Guard

Wade is going to be difficult to contain for Ray Allen to contain. Since Avery Bradley is out for the playoffs it is up Allen to make it hard for Wade to get into the paint. With Allen not being 100% it makes this even more difficult task.

Edge: Heat

Center

I don’t think it matters who the Heat start at center. Garnett will be able get his shot off. KG will need to rekindle his Timberwolves days when he was 20-10-5 guy every night. This would make the Celtics more competitive.

Edge: Celtics

Small Forward

The best player on the planet is on a mission. Lebron James is eight wins from that title he needs to validate that enormous talent he has. Pierce who also is not healthy will need overachieve to keep this close.

Edge: Heat

Power Forward

With Bosh out for game 1. Bass needs to step up against Haslem and give the Celtics some scoring help. If Bosh returns the Heat will have another matchup advantage.

Edge: Even

Celtics Bench vs Heat Bench

Neither of these teams have much of bench. The bench that plays the best will be a plus for either team. The Heat spot up shooters will be a key. They need to knock down open looks to help the Big 3 or 2.

Prediction: Heat in 5.

69 Sports NBA Power Rankings

1. Chicago Bulls 20-6

2. Miami Heat 17-6

3. Oklahoma Thunder 18-5

4. Philadelphia 76ers 17-7

5. San Antonio Spurs 16-9

6. LA Clippers 14-7

7. Denver Nuggets 15-9

8. Indiana Pacers 16-7

9. Atlanta Hawks 16-8

10. Indiana Pacers 16-7

11. Orlando Magic 15-9

12. Utah Jazz 13-9

13. LA Lakers 14-10

14. Boston Celtics 13-10

15. Portland Trailblazers 14-10

16. Houston Rockets 13-11

Game Recap #19 Cavaliers 88 Celtics 87

Kyrie Irving hit a left-handed layup with 2.6 seconds left to beat the Boston Celtics. Cleveland’s record is now 8-11 after 19 games. Cleveland closed the game on a 12-0 run holding Boston scoreless over a 3 minute period. Nice win on the road for the Cavaliers whose record is now 8-11.

Best Player On The Floor

Kyrie Irving In 33 minutes Irving scored 23 points on 10-14 from the field, while grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing 6 assists. Irving also hit the game winner to give the Cavaliers a win. This 19-year-old is already the best player on this roster and the leading candidate for ROY.

Game Balls

Anderson Varejao Andy scored a season high 18 points along 9 boards. His hustle is just off the charts. Varejao is the second most important player next to Kyrie. He has made a connection with Irving on the offensive end in the pick and roll.

Alonzo Gee came off the bench to score 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 29 minutes. He is probably one of the most improved players on the Cavalier roster. He is becoming a reliable defender.

MIA  Missing In Action

Antawn Jamison continues the up and down performances going 3-13 from the field, 1-4 from the 3 point line and 3 rebounds. His defense was awful as usual not stopping anyone he guarded. Looks like Cleveland will be stuck with him for the whole season. He has no trade value whatsoever even with an expiring contract.

Closing Remarks

Cleveland has competed well in most games this year so far in this shortened season. They need to play better defense and cut down the turnovers which has been a problem all season. They also need find some reliable scorers to go with Irving, but that won’t happen this season.