Here are the player grades from the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers.
LeBron James: A+
This was a truly special performance from James. With his teammates struggling, especially in the first half, he understood the importance of every single possession. As a result of that, he refused to settle for jumpers and was relentless in attacking the rim.
Oh, and he saved the game with a chase down block and a game winning shot. He’s pretty good.
Kyle Korver: A
It probably isn’t a great sign that the Cavs two best performers on the night are both in their 15th season in the league. That experience came in handy as Korver provided the crucial spacing that allowed LeBron to attack the interior. The two wings executed an effective two-man game throughout the night, and Korver rewarded the team with 5-9 shooting from deep.
Jeff Green: B
A scapegoat for most of this series, Green played within himself offensively in Game 5 and came up with some big defensive plays.
Kevin Love: B-
Here’s where the drop-off begins. Love was hesitant to shoot open jumpers at times and seems to be bothered by the torn ligament in his thumb. He still did an impressive job battling on the glass, and was effective defensively. An average offensive output from Love would have made this game a lot easier, but he showed toughness in battling through his struggles.
J.R. Smith: B-
Like Love, Smith was terrible offensively.going 0-8 from the floor. While J.R. didn’t provide the rebounding Love did, he did a tremendous job defensively and earned his 33 minutes.
Jose Calderon: C+
Given how terrible he’s been in this series, things could have been a whole lot worse. Calderon did a good job taking care of the ball and hit a couple timely threes. This team really misses George Hill, but Calderon did an okay job filling in during Game 5.
Jordan Clarkson: C-
Like Calderon, Clarkson wasn’t bad but left a lot to be desired. They could have used his scoring punch, especially in the first half.
Larry Nance Jr.: C-
Nance appeared to re-injure his hamstring in the first half, but stayed in the game and didn’t seem to receive any additional treatment. Nance struggled defensively, bobbled some passes, and failed to come up with rebounds. While his screen setting helped at times, it was another lackluster outing for the big man.
Rodney Hood: D
You’ll probably see Hood on a milk cartoon tomorrow. He was sloppy, out of control, and by far the Cavs least effective contributor on the night.