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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers player grades

What a time to be alive.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James: C-

James was not engaged in the first quarter, and played terrible defense in transition. He nearly led the Cavaliers back from the brink multiple times. Ultimately, he wasn’t able to lead the Cavaliers to a win in this one.

Kevin Love: C

Love played passable defense at times and was a vacuum on the defensive glass with 17 rebounds. Eight shot attempts for a secondary option is a pretty egregious issue for the Cavaliers, especially as they struggled to find any offensive rhythm. Feed the big man, gang.

Jeff Green: F

Green did not succeed in slowing down Victor Oladipo even a little bit, only pulled down four rebounds and destroyed the Cavs spacing while shooting 0-of-7 from the field. I mean, yikes.

George Hill: C-

Hill failed to register much impact in this game and was functionally knocked out of the game after a nasty backscreen from Trevor Booker. He should be good to go for Game 2 on Wednesday, and the Cavaliers will need him.

Rodney Hood: C-

Hood was forgotten on the bench for much of the second half, but had an up and down game when he made it to the floor. He failed to register much of an impact while only hitting one of his four attempts from three.

Larry Nance Jr.: B-

Nance probably had the best day of any Cleveland role player. He struggled with foul trouble but finished fairly well around the rim and was active, engaged and effective on switches defensively. He was not the problem in this one, and it should come as no shock that this particular writer thinks that Nance should start moving forward, especially if the Cavs are going to use Jeff Green to guard Thaddeus Young instead of Victor Oladipo.

Jordan Clarkson: C

Clarkson was also forgettable, and failed to get the Cavaliers into their offense while missing all three of his attempts from distance. If Jose Calderon had shown anything, it would’ve been easy to make a case that his role should shrink moving forward.

Jose Calderon: C-

Calderon was even worse than Clarkson, failing to get the Cavaliers into their offense, missing all of his threes and not putting up enough of a fight on the defensive end to justify many minutes. If anyone else had played well, it would’ve been an easy decision to plant Calderon on the bench. Alas, nobody else did.

Kyle Korver: D+

Korver only played four minutes and Tyronn Lue said it was more about execution of defensive scheme (he wanted more athleticism defensively) than it was about his sore foot. Either way, Korver didn’t make a bucket and didn’t make an impact in this game.

J.R. Smith: B-

Smith had a strange penchant for attacking Victor Oladipo off the dribble, a strategy that will rarely play out in Smith’s favor. He did hit three shots from three-point range, and his bursts of scoring helped keep the Cavs in it for as long as they were.