Words. Chantay Jordan
Following the convincing Boston rout of Cleveland on Tuesday night, the Cavs look like a team in total disarray. Don’t get me wrong; this series is not over. Facing a 3-2 deficit heading back to Beantown, the odds are against them to win the series. But if they adhere to the following three things, they just might be able to snatch Game 6.
Key #1: LeBron has to be the best player on the floor.
Rajon Rondo not LeBron James has appeared to be the best player in this series. To put it bluntly, Rondo has made just about every Cleveland defender his personal urinal. Aside from Rondo, a 3-for-14 LeBron is not going to cut it for Cleveland in any lifetime.
In Cleveland’s three losses this series, LeBron has attempted 15, 18 and 14 shots; but in the two wins, he had more than 20 field goal attempts. LeBron must use his 6-8, 260-pound frame to punish the Boston defenders instead of bailing them out by hoisting his inconsistent jump shot. He usually likes to get his teammates involved early in the game, but he is going to have to come out assertive and aggressive like he did in Game 3 for them to win. The Cavs are a “monkey see, monkey do” type of team, so if LeBron goes hard, then it is possible the Cavs will follow suit.
Key #2: Mike Brown and his coaching staff must answer the call.
There is no doubt that Mike Brown has been out-coached by Doc Rivers and the Boston coaching staff this series. And if Brown has any intentions of saving his job, then he and the Cavs need to win Game 6. First, Brown needs to clean up the lack of consistency in his rotations and figure out a winning game plan. For Cleveland to win, they must cut out little mistakes and fix what they have control of fixing. Things such as getting back in transition, moving the ball on offense, not having mental breakdowns, hustling to get the 50/50 balls and most of all, giving a legitimate effort to win. That means changing their body language and playing like they want to win.
The Cavs must pick their poison wisely. Either you take the risk of the “Big Three” having a big game, or you allow Rondo to have his way (to an extent) by making him a shooter and making it hard for him in the interior. Rondo has made it clear that he can (and will) beat his man of the dribble 99.9 percent of the time, but Cleveland’s help defense must be ready. That means Ray Allen can’t continue to get open looks on the perimeter, and someone must put pressure on Paul Pierce.
Key #3: A guy other than LeBron must score at least 20 points.
After universal criticism for his performance (or lack thereof) in Game 5, LeBron will probably bounce back in a major way scoring the ball. In the playoffs, Mo Williams has become one of the League’s biggest choke artists, but there is still time for him to redeem himself. Aside from LeBron, no other Cavs player is averaging more than 14 points per game. In this series, when only one Cavs player scores more than 20 points, Cleveland has lost; but when two or more Cavs score 20 or more points, it results in a Cavs win. In Game 1, it was Mo that dropped 20, and in Game 3, it was Antawn Jamison. LeBron’s supporting cast is indeed the X-factor for Game 6. Williams must put pressure on Rondo offensively, and Jamison has to stretch the floor. Kevin Garnett has been killing Jamison in the post and on the pick-and-roll, but in Game 3, Jamison put pressure on KG by drawing him out to the perimeter.
Without a doubt, the Cavaliers have dug themselves a massive hole, but it is not impossible for them to rise up. Redemption must start in Game 6, and the three keys above are essential if Cleveland wants to come home to play rather than clean out their lockers. Either way, we will all be witnesses.
What do you think? Will the Cavs win Game 6?
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