5 Adjustments the Cleveland Cavaliers Must Make for Game 2 - Page 2 of 5 - Cavaliers Nation

5 Adjustments the Cleveland Cavaliers Must Make for Game 2

Harrison Barnes and Tristan Thompson

4. Fast-Break Offense


After every single loss for the Cavs, pundits and talking heads consistently bring up one thing more than anything else, isolation basketball. They discuss how the Cavs offense has no flow, how stagnant it is and how ineffective it is against a team like the Warriors.

And that’s true up to a point. But in my opinion, the area of offense that needs more attention is the fast-break game. The Cavs were relatively successful in this endeavor Thursday, outscoring the Warriors 18-9 in fast-break points, but that advantage could have been even higher. The Cavs simply refused to push the ball at times, specifically after made buckets, and it cost them easy points and valuable seconds off the shot clock, which ran out more than a few times.

Kyrie Irving was the biggest culprit, and the stats back this up. According to ESPN, Irving was just 1-of-9 in the half-court offense when he brought the ball up and did not pass. The Warriors have an elite defensive unit, and they did a great job of corralling Irving coming off the pick-and-roll and forcing him to take pull-up jump shots.

The way to remedy this is to not allow Golden State to set up on defense. Run those pick-and-rolls early in the shot clock and high up on the court. If Irving already has a full head of steam going when he hits that pick, there is not a single person on planet Earth who can stop him from getting all the way to the rim.

LeBron James also needs to be better in this aspect. His desire to post up in half-court sets is smart, especially with Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes covering him. But King James has been the best fast-break player in the world for almost 13 years now. If James gets to the free-throw line and nobody is slowing him down, it always results in a layup or kick-out for a wide-open 3-pointer.

This is also the best way to continue to involve players like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Frye. The fast break not only allows these guys to take open shots, it allows them to very naturally step into those jump shots, essentially making them practice shots.

Again, the Cavs were successful at running the fast break Thursday night, it just didn’t happen consistently enough.

Next: Help-Side Defense

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