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Report: Several Cavs Players Questioning Whether They Can Find Their Place on Team
- Updated: April 21, 2018
During Friday night’s 92-90 loss in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers were unable to sustain a strong first-half effort and ultimately blew their 17-point halftime advantage. In the wake of the defeat, questions about whether the Cavaliers’ heavy reliance on LeBron James is compromising other players’ playmaking capabilities have apparently arisen.
Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports noted that James currently finds himself in a unique position, since the 15-year veteran has never trailed 2-1 in a first-round series during his legendary career. His dominant role within the Cavaliers offense has been needed over the course of the season, given all the turmoil and injuries that have taken place. However, that status and the team’s style of play during the postseason have reportedly come under question:
“And yet, the Cavaliers’ playing style — isolation-driven — has several players privately questioning where they can find their place and rhythm for playmaking opportunities,” Charania wrote.
Possible chemistry concerns were first voiced after multiple trade-deadline deals in February, with four new players being added to the roster. Some of those players are experiencing their first postseason, though veteran George Hill was seen as someone who can work well with James. Other players that were already on the team, such as center Tristan Thompson, have seen virtually no action in the first three games of the series with the Pacers.
Whether or not the issue between James and his teammates can be worked out remains to be seen, though Cleveland doesn’t have much time to craft an effective strategy. Should they lose in Game 4 on Sunday night, they face the challenge of having to come back from a 3-1 deficit — something they haven’t accomplished since winning the NBA title two years ago.