Tristan Thompson: B
Tristan Thompson gets the honor of being the least bad player for the Cavs this afternoon. He made the most of his time with 8 points and 11 boards in just 21 minutes. I’d expect to see the Cavs start him in Game 2 in an effort to slow down Al Horford offensively.
George Hill: B-
Hill was one of the few players that provided some effort on defense and didn’t turn the ball over. However his lack of aggressiveness didn’t help the team overcome a passive performance from LeBron.
Jeff Green: B-
Joining Hill in the “didn’t actively sabotage the team” category is Jeff Green. He played some defense, took the right shots and just failed to convert them. It wasn’t a good game, but he wasn’t terrible.
Rodney Hood: C+
One of the few positives from this game were signs of life from Rodney Hood. He was serviceable offensively and was able to come up with some impressive finishes and big plays. Not sure what this means moving forward for him, but he’ll likely continue to get a look in Game 2.
Kevin Love: C
Tyronn Lue decided not to go with Tristan Thompson against Al Horford, which lead to Horford thoroughly handling Love. While he didn’t look as bad as he did against Indiana, Love seemed lost on both ends at times in this game.
Jordan Clarkson: C-
Clarkson was out of control for a lot of Game 1, but somehow never ended up committing a turnover. His 10 points on 11 shots isn’t great, but better than a lot of what we’ve seen in the playoffs. However his defense couldn’t have been much worse.
Kyle Korver: C-
The defense Kyle Korver plays is better than most would assume, but it’s still not good enough to justify him playing heavy minutes when his shot isn’t falling.
LeBron James: D
We’ve seen this from LeBron before. Game 1 is where he is typically passive and tries to get a feel for what the other team is running. Combine that with this being an early start, and you get his worst game of the playoffs. Passive offensively, sloppy with the ball, and asleep on defense. LeBron was also a team-worst -32 in Game 1. It probably won’t continue through this series, but he was horrible.
J.R. Smith: D
Smith went from playing solid defense against Victor Oladipo and DeMar DeRozen to completely falling asleep against Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Hopefully this game serves as a wake-up call for him, as the Celtics have too much wing talent for him to lose his focus on defense. Combine that with a case of a Sunday J.R. Smith game offensively and you get a very forgettable performance.