Can the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA Finals?
LeBron James. The name itself is synonymous with greatness. Never before have we seen such a complete all-around player. With the height of a giant for normal people, yet the athleticism and agility of a gymnast, we think we've seen it all from him. But can he pull off another magic trick and win the NBA Finals this year?
Also read: Reviewing LeBron James' Six NBA Finals losses
Throughout the postseason, we've marveled at LeBron's greatness and how he has single-handedly carried this raggedy Cleveland Cavaliers team to yet another NBA Finals. Let's face it; the Cavaliers reaching the Finals was nothing short of a miracle and them winning the Finals will require more than that. But here are top 5 things they need to do to make that miracle come true.
1) LeBron James needs to go into attack mode
I know you're probably thinking, if putting up 51-8-8 and 29-13-9 in two games isn't attacking enough, then what is? LeBron shooting the mid-range jumpers, the threes, getting his teammates involved and all of that is great, I agree. But there comes a time in the game where LeBron needs to put his head down, drive to the basket and hit the shot or get to the foul line. He is virtually unstoppable when he drives to the basket.
2) The "Other Cavaliers" need to show up
The rest of the team needs to show up. Period. George Hill in Game 2 gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of. We've seen what Kevin Love is capable of. Tristan Thomson has had his fair share of moments in the past three years. Every single person on that roster that gets minutes in the following games needs to bring nothing less than their A game.
One of the main reasons why the Cavaliers were able to upset the Warriors in 2016 was because they had two prolific scorers in James and Irving. Someone needs to fill Irving's shoes and it has to be now.
3) A little luck from the referees
Let's face it. The referees have been underwhelming, at the very least, this series. So many calls have gone the Warriors' way. Hopefully we get well-officiated games throughout the rest of the series.
4) J.R. Smith needs to come off the bench
J.R. Smith has been an absolute disaster this season. Averaging 8.3 points per game this season, the second lowest of his career, he cost the Cavaliers Game 1 with the biggest mental absence ever seen in recent sports history. Putting aside that blunder, he hasn't contributed on the offensive end at all. He needs to come off the bench and let someone like Rodney Hood or Kyle Korver start the game.
5) Knock down the open shots
The Cavs were three of 19 when it came to open shots in Game 2. LeBron has been brilliant in drawing the extra defender to him while driving and then dishing it out to the open man on the perimeter. The only holdback? Nobody is sinking those shots.
On the other hand, we see Stephen Curry throwing up miracles and sinking them like layups. Not being able to sink the open shots throws more and more pressure on LeBron, which isn't something you'd want to do with so much pressure already on him.