Very few players in the league (or even the history of the league) dominate a certain round of the playoffs the way LeBron James dominates the first round. Entering this year's playoffs, LeBron is 40-7 in the first round of the playoffs and hasn't lost a game since 2012.
In Game 1 against Detroit, that remained the same. LeBron notched 22 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds, and with the help of Kyrie Irving (31 points) and Kevin Love (28 points), the Cavs were able to take a 1-0 series lead. With the opening win, the Cavs now head into Game 2 with a chance to go up 2-0. Will the Cavs have a chance to head into Detroit with the possibility of a sweep still on the line, or will the Pistons steal home court advantage with a win in Cleveland, as they nearly did in Game1?
Who: Detroit Pistons (0-1) at Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0)
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m. E.T.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Enemy blog: Detroit Bad Boys
Game 2 music: Strictly Business - EPMD
What to watch for:
- Two things stood out from Game 1: the Pistons blindly shooting 51.7% from behind the arc (and hitting SEASON-high 15 three-pointers) and the Cavs only committing four turnovers as a team. Neither of those things are likely in Game 2, but one is more likely to be a trend than the other. While the Pistons were the eight-worst three-point shooting team over the course of this regular season, they also had the seventh-lowest turnover percentage as well. The playoffs are a weird place, so anything can happen, but this should bode well for the Cavs.
- Whatever made Cavs assistant coach Jim Boylan think that Kevin Love at center "wasn't affective for (the Cavs)," he couldn't have been more wrong. Albeit a small sample size, the Cavs were... how do I say this.... REALLY FREAKING GOOD. And what was the difference in Game 1 for the Cavs? KEVIN LOVE AT CENTER. Will we see more of this?
Find out next time on the next episode of Dragon Ball ZBecause the Pistons have no answer for Love at center, the answer should be yes.
- The move to put Love at center was a great one for Cavs coach Tyronne Lue, the move not to play Channing Frye was... uhm.... not good. All season long Lue (as well as former coach David Blatt) was giving Timofey Mozgov minutes in hopes of him regaining his confidence, despite him being just north of a tire fire this year. Still, Mozgov got the minutes (albeit only four of them) over Frye and was -5 in four minutes. It would be surprising if this happened again the rest of the playoffs.
- For as good as the Big 3 played in Game 1, the rest of the Cavs weren't so great. Mozgov didn't play well, Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith both struggled from the field, and the Cavs bench was outplayed by the Pistons. Smith and Dellavedova were big for the Cavs in their run to Finals last year, and with a lesser load (barring injury) than last year, their role is still just as crucial. Can they get it going in Game 2?
- A reminder that Kevin Love still hasn't lost a playoff game he's played in. I'm not saying, but I'm just saying.
Fear the Sword's fearless prediction:
As noted, Love is undefeated in his playoff career. The last time LeBron lost a first round playoff game, he was still without a ring. Both of those trends should continue, as the Cavs win Game 2 with a 105-101 win.