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What is Next for the Cavaliers after a Game One Loss?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are officially down 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Boston Celtics after losing by 25 points with a final score of 95-120. Up until the 4th quarter, the Cavaliers fought to stay in the game, keeping the deficit close enough to keep the game competitive. The Cavaliers enter this series as the 4-seed after beating the Orlando Magic in 7 games where whereas the Boston Celtics enter this series as the 1-seed beating the Miami Heat in just 5 games. While the loss was indeed a blowout, There were positives that with the right coaching, could lead the Cavs to steal a few games in this series.

Point blank period the Cavaliers need to see Darius Garland show up more than he has thus far in the playoffs. This team will not stand a chance in this series if it is solely the Donovan Mitchell show, the Celtics have too many performers for Mitchell to will the Cavaliers into wins. Darius needs to become more of a scoring factor for this team, in 36 minutes Garland went 6-15 for 14 points. If the Cavaliers want to stand a fighting chance in this series, Garland needs to make more of his shots, he has shown the ability to do so, and he needs to get back to that level of performance sooner rather than later.

Another player that needs to show up more than he has is Max Strus. Strus was brought in to be a scoring threat for this Cavaliers team and in the Boston game, Strus played 35 minutes and only had 5 points shooting 2-8 from the field. Strus is another player who has shown the ability to be a scoring factor for this Cavaliers team. Strus has been hot and cold during this playoff run and again if the Cavaliers want to make a run against the Boston Celtics they will need Max Strus to be hot and consistent when shooting, especially from 3.

The last point of emphasis the Cavaliers need to focus on is defense. The Cavaliers’ defense was hot and cold against the Boston Celtics in game one, focusing on defense, and putting strong defenders like Mobley and Okoro on the Celtics’ best shooters for a majority of the game will obviously help this, but the Cavaliers need a 110% defensive effort from every player that checks into the game during game two.

The Cavaliers have shown the ability to play with the Celtics, keeping the game close during most of game one, as well as beating them in the regular season on March 5th. These teams match up well against each other, which leads me to believe this series is far from over. I predict this series to have the chance to go the distance, lasting six or seven games if the Cavaliers can respond with the proper adjustments following the game one loss. This however all falls in the lap of Cavaliers head coach, JB Bickerstaff who has lost support from the Cavaliers fan base as of late. Let’s see what JB and the Cavaliers can do from here as we move forward into game two and the rest of this series.


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