Here are the player grades from the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-94 loss to the Boston Celtics:
LeBron James: B+
A truly strange game from LeBron. He went nuts in the first quarter on a steady diet of absurd threes before getting elbowed in the head and struggled to make a major impact the rest of the way. His defense was outrageously bad at times. With that said, he scored 42 points in a triple-double and was not the reason the team lost.
J.R. Smith: F-
Speaking of “the reason the team lost,” Smith was completely worthless in this game. He racked up what should be a flagrant 2 against Al Horford, he took double-pump three-pointers that didn’t come close, he played audaciously bad on-ball defense and didn’t score a single point.
He’s a Cleveland hero, but he certainly wasn’t one tonight.
Tristan Thompson: C+
It’s tough to see Thompson getting blown by on switches by Marcus Morris. He managed to be reasonably effective offensively and on the offensive glass, but his lowered defensive ceiling isn’t easy to stomach.
George Hill: D
Hill scored three points and shot four times in 33 minutes. I know the Celtics have dogged defenders on ball, but this is pretty unacceptable for a 20 million dollar per year player. He played decent defense, but having your starting backcourt get outscored 41-3 is pretty humiliating when said starting backcourt is making 35 million dollars.
Jeff Green: D-
Jeff Green managed five turnovers in 28 minutes. He had the worst plus/minus of the team at -17. I don’t know what he was doing out there, but he certainly wasn’t helping much.
Rodney Hood: D
I’m going to start calling Hood “Frail Jeff Green.” Two points, zero impact in his 11 minutes.
Kevin Love: B+
Love managed to be one of the only non-James Cavaliers that was able to find offense against the Celts. He’s really become a devastating off-ball cutter, proving that backdoor cuts are much more about guile and feel than they are athleticism. He’s never going to be a lockdown defender, but he helped keep the Cavs in this one.
Kyle Korver: B+
Korver was unbelievable in the second quarter while matching Jayson Tatum tit-for-tat in some outrageous shot-making aided by some poor off-ball defense by Marcus Smart. Ultimately, Tyronn Lue stopped going to Korver for heavy minutes in the second half and Korver wasn’t able to hit the shots he did manage to get off.