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.

Staying Alive Miami Heat Style

Tonight is a big game for the Heat and the Spurs for different reasons. The Spurs can secure their fifth ring in the Tim Duncan era with a win. The Heat can fend off elimination with a win and send the series to a seventh game. This has been strange series with 4 blowouts and one close game so far in five games. The Spurs play better as a team than the Heat, while Miami has the better talent. Can talent overcome a supreme team effort tonight? The answer to that question is up to the Miami Heat because they need to have a better team effort. The Spurs have scored 114 and 113 points in two of the last three games of this series. Miami will have to play better defense tonight to keep this series alive. If San Antonio scores 100 points or more tonight the Heat’s season may be over. The Spurs starting five scored 107 points in game five, while the Miami starting five scored 73 points. That is a +34 point difference, which the Heat can’t let happen again. The Heat were one of the top defensive teams in the NBA this season. They are not playing like one of the top defensive teams in the league. Lebron is going to get his and DWade will probably get his too. I don’t know what the rest of the team will do or if it will be enough to get the victory. Win or lose the Miami Heat are not the team we thought they were.

Pacers-Heat Game 5 Preview

I didn’t think the Pacers would win two games in this series. I still think the Heat will take this series. The Heat small ball strategy has been somewhat exposed in this series. The Pacers frontline has given the Heat problems with their length. The low posting scoring and offensive rebounding have given the Pacers two wins in this series.

Indiana has out rebounded Miami 176-136 so far in the series and they hold a 61-44 advantage on the offensive boards. If this trend continues it  may present a problem for the Heat in their quest for back to back NBA titles.

The Heat’s role players need to step and play better. Ray Allen is shooting 28% and Shane Battier is shooting 14%. This bad shooting makes the Heat easier to defend. The other Heat problem is Chris Bosh is averaging 3.3 rebounds in this series. Playing the 5 isn’t who Bosh is. Miami doesn’t need a stretch 5 in this series, they need Bosh to bang down low which he isn’t going to do.

The Heat have the best player on the planet and he needs to play like it with a little help from his teammates to secure this series. We know what Lebron is going to do the question is somebody else needs to step up tonight.

What Oklahoma City Needs To Do To Win Game 3

  1. Keep their turnovers to a minimum
  2. Make Miami shoot jump shoots
  3. Keep Miami out of the paint
  4. Don’t play Kendrick Perkins about 20 minutes or less
  5. Make sure Durant takes the most shots
  6. Keep stars out of foul trouble
  7. Westbrook needs at least 10 dimes
  8. Play better defense on Miami spot up shooters

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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