The Cavaliers find themselves in a 0-2 hole after the Boston Celtics have handled them with relative ease in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. If Game 1 was a “feel out” game for LeBron James and company, Game 2 was a bit more discouraging as James put forth, as Deadpool might say, maximum effort early en route to a 42-point triple-double yet still came up short.
As has been the case for most of the season, the conversation after the Game 2 loss was about the lack of help from LeBron’s supporting cast. Kevin Love did his part, but the rest of the Cavs were downright pitiful on the offensive end, which is bad because that’s the only thing Cleveland as a team has been good at this season.
With this series being played against Boston, many have looked into the poor performances of the players who the Cavs got out of the Kyrie Irving trade. That deal netted Cleveland Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder (and the 8th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft). Both were dealt at the trade deadline to the Lakers and Jazz, respectively (along with other veteran pieces and Cleveland’s 2018 draft pick), with the Cavs receiving Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, and George Hill in return.
The first three combined for two points in Game 2, with Clarkson falling completely out of the rotation, and Hill somehow managing only three points, two rebounds, and one assist in 33 minutes of play — to his credit, Hill has been the best of that group by a large margin over the course of the postseason. Much has been made about that trade deadline move, with initial excitement (we’re guilty of that as well) after a hot start eventually giving way to the reality, which is, outside of Hill, none of those players are really capable of giving them anything this postseason.