Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Cavaliers Gear Up For Huge Game 3

June 06, 2018 - 10:16 am

By Austin Medina

If there was ever a must-win for the Cavaliers this season, Game 3 is it!

The Cavaliers have a crucial game 3 against the Golden State Warriors in Cleveland Wednesday night. The Warriors currently lead the series 2-0 after both a controversial Game 1 and convincing Game 2.

The Cavs need a momentum swing in the series, as they are in a scary predicament even with LeBron James being great. James is averaging 40 points, 10.5 assists, and 8.5 rebounds on nearly 70% shooting.

Role players show up at home. We all know about the disappointment JR Smith has been after his Game 1 botch. Smith is averaging just 7.5 points on 26% shooting and 30% from three-point range. Kyle Korver shot just 1 of 6 in two games in limited action in Golden State. Jordan Clarkson has been relatively a no-show in his first ever Finals series.

For the Cavs, Kyle Korver needs to get his rhythm and have double-digit shot attempts. The more Korver shoots, the more points Cleveland will put up against the high-octane Warriors.

Perhaps playing Rodney Hood more and JR Smith less will counteract the rangy Warriors defense. Hood is a 6’7 guard who can hit perimeter shoots and use his own length on defense.

Larry Nance Jr. should also continue to play minutes as his energy off the bench is something Cleveland desperately needs. He’s averaging nearly nine rebounds a game in just 16 minutes of action per game.

Kevin Love has to remain the constant as he was in Golden State. He’s averaging 21.5 points along with 11.5 rebounds. The one area Love needs to improve as the series shifts to Cleveland is his three-point percentage. He’s shooting just 25% from distance.

Of course LeBron needs to be at his best, but why should we expect anything less? The key for Cleveland is that the surrounding pieces around the King do their job. Make open shots. Crash the glass, offensive and defensive, hard. Don’t give up any second chances. And play players who actually produce.

If Cleveland can do these things, they can secure a Game 3 win and have a chance to tie the series when Game 4 comes around.