Sunday, June 5, 2016

What do the Cavs need to do to beat the Warriors?

OK, it's time for one of my random posts with my thoughts on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I'm sure the ESPN talking heads have talked this to death, but I'm ready to give a bullet-point breakdown on what the Cavs need to do to win Game 2 of the NBA Finals tonight. And possibly the Finals themselves.

Continue to contain Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. The Cavs proved in Game 1 they can do it (20 points total on 8-for-27); they just need to keep at it. If they contain both, great, but they at least need to contain one of them each game.

The bench has to score points. Golden State embarrassed the Cavs in a bench-to-bench matchup in Game 1: 45 to 10. That can't continue. Cleveland's reserves can't just be on the court to give the starters a break; they have to meet the Warriors physically, but get points. The Cavs have just as much depth as the Warriors; prove it.

Be physical. Bang some bodies. Most of those Golden State pretty boys don't like that.

Continue to draw fouls — but don't make dumb ones.

• J.R. Smith needs to shoot the ball. Three shot attempts in Game 1 — really, dude?!

 • Work on layups and putbacks. I know it's hard to predict where a basketball will go when it bounces around the rim and a lot of guys are tipping it, but man, that was frustrating in Game 1. The ball literally didn't seem to want to drop for the Cavs.

Win away from home. There's no way to win any series without grabbing a few victories in Oakland. If Golden State takes a 2-0 series lead could be hard deficit to face. Splitting the first two games could go a long way to grabbing the four wins needed to finally bring home a championship to Cleveland.

Withstand the inevitable runs that Golden State will make.

And related to that, finally …

Be greedy. When the Cavs do get a lead, they need keep the foot on the accelerator. And when there's a big lead, keep it up. Beating down the Warriors is the only way to beat them.

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