Nobody said it was going to be easy, but I don’t think anyone thought it would be this hard. The Cavs squeezed out a 104-100 win at the Bankers Life Field House over the 5th-seeded Pacers to even up to series at two games apiece.
Game 5 will be back in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
The Cavs did the same exact thing as Game 3. They took a big lead, playing a fantastic first half only to blow it in the 3rd quarter and have to fight it out in the 4th.
Except this time, it was Cleveland that had the last laugh.
LeBron James lead the charge with 32 points on 12-22 from the floor, 13 boards and seven assists. Kyle Korver, after scoring no points in Game 3, had 18 including some crucial three-pointers late in the game. Off the bench, Jordan Clarkson had 12. Jeff Green had eight.
Despite the win, the concerns loom over this team that I noted in my previous article after the Game 3 loss.
JR Smith only went 4-12, Kevin Love was an abysmal 2-10 for five points. Jose Calderon, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and Tristan Thompson basically did nothing.
So, if you take away LeBron and Korver, the team went 19/47 – 40% for 54 points. It’s not terrible, but it’s not going to get the job done, especially later in the playoffs if the team advances.
The man that really needs to step up is Kevin Love. He is the clear #2 on this team and without Kyrie Irving’s production this postseason, he cannot have garbage games like this. Of course, the early foul trouble didn’t help, but that’s on him as well. The Cavs are lucky to have won with his embarrassing performance.
What’s interesting is that going into the playoffs, we all felt that the defense would be a problem and the offense would be great. However, it’s exactly the opposite. In the long run, that could actually be a good thing if others are able to find a way to score.
LeBron is going to play heavy minutes. But you know what, if he sits out the final minute of the 1st and 3rd quarters, it’ll say 46 minutes on the stat sheet. However, with halftime, all the timeouts and that bit of extra rest he gets, I am not concerned. The man is a machine and Lance Stephenson isn’t going to stop him.
Lance you finally got caught you piece of shit
— Zach Shafron (@ZachOnCST) April 23, 2018
So we find ourselves knotted at two games apiece. It’s hard for me to see the Cavs losing again at home. I see them winning the next two games to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. A demoralized Pacers team down 3-2 at home is not the same as a team tied at 1-1 or up 2-1.
Grind it out.
That’s the way the team won Game 4 and that’s the way it’s going to go these playoffs. It’s imperative that the rest of the team steps up and helps Lebron.
But with The King on our side, never count this team out. They proved that in Game 4.