What We Learned: Cavs vs Pacers

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The Pacers snapped Cleveland’s 12 game winning streak on Friday night. The Cavs controlled the first 3 quarters of the game, but they let up in the 4th and paid the price. Here’s what we learned.

Kevin Love has off nights. He finished with only 5 points and 8 boards. Love had an awful game on the both ends of the floor. He let David West collect 20 points and 13 boards. Those are the types of games Love should be having, not the guy he’s guarding. I know West is a good power forward, but that’s no excuse. Love has to give us more than 5 points and 8 rebounds. The Cavs offense is at its best when Love is getting involved in the scoring, and it’s at its worst when he’s not involved.

Iman Shumpert can hit big shots. Shump hit a huge 3 to give Cleveland the lead with under 2 minutes to play. Unfortunately we didn’t hold onto the lead, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he hit a clutch shot.

C.J.Miles was out to show the Cavs they should’ve kept him. Miles had 27 points against his former team. He converted a clutch 4 point play late in the game to give the Pacers the victory. I was a big fan of Miles when he was in Cleveland. It’s unfortunate the Cavs couldn’t keep him around. I’m glad to see he found a home in Indiana.

The Cavs need to play more aggressive. Cleveland settled for too many jump shots today. They didn’t attack the rim like we know they should. As a result they were only able to get to a foul line 12 times. The Cavs are at their best when they are attacking the rim and drawing fouls. It is especially critical when you play a team like Indiana. You have to attack Hibbert early and try to get him in foul trouble. The Cavs weren’t able to do that and they paid the price.

Kyrie Irving is continuing to play great. He finished with 29/5/4. Kyrie has played like a superstar throughout the winning streak, we only hope he can keep it up. If he keeps playing like this the Cavs will go far in the playoffs.

Shawn Marion needs more minutes. Marion isn’t the offensive threat that he used to be, but he is still a valuable player that can give you above average defense. He can give us a solid 15-20 minutes a night. That’s the perfect role for him. He only played 5 minutes on Friday night. I’m not saying playing him more would’ve won the game for the Cavs, just saying I think he needs more playing time.

All good things have to come to an end. The second leg of back to back games are tough to get up for, especially when they’re on the road against a below average team like the Pacers. The Cavs had this one in the bag, but they let it go. There really is no excuse to letting a team like the Pacers come back and win. Cleveland has done an excellent job of closing teams out during the winning streak, they just weren’t able to do that on Friday night. The Pacers reminded us that the Cavs aren’t invincible, even though they appear to be at times. This loss isn’t the end of the world but it’s one the Cavs would like to have back.

The Cavaliers will be back in action Sunday afternoon against the Lakers. It’s time to get a new streak started!

– Jackson Flickinger

pic credit Cleveland.com

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