George insists comments were intended to motivate Pacers

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 20, 2017

If they take it with a grain of salt and play with fire, then George will have done his job to ignite his team that's down 2-0.

Monday marked the first time Cleveland's big three of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Irving all scored 25 or more points in one playoff game as teammates. In this 117-111 Game 2 loss by the Pacers, they were outscored from distance by 15 points and it took until the fourth quarter for them to make a run.

"His number was called right away (in the third quarter) and he had to be ready", James said. At some point in the playoffs, the team will find its groove and make its way through the East to meet the Warriors in the Finals.

"Cause we're playing some really, really good basketball", James said. So, like I told you, I'd much rather have an 18-point lead than not have a lead at all.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists while winning his 19th straight game in the first round.

Game 3 is Thursday Night from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For a bit of context, Cleveland is plus-12 in the first half and a remarkable plus-14 in the third, and that's why they've been able to stave off these furious comeback attempts.

Irving ended the period by draining a 3-pointer over Stephenson and the All-Star made sure Indiana's antagonizing guard knew about it, yapping in his direction long after the horn sounded.

"We're not doing anything aggressively right now", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said postgame.

While it may look like the champs have finally clamped down on IN after leading 96-78 after the third quarter, it was simply the by-product of an exceptional offense by their "Big 3" of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. "And that was big". The Cavaliers hold on to beat the Pacers, preventing a late collapse to protect their home court advantage. Cleveland players spent a lot of time looking around, waiting for someone else to stop the ball.

Smith didn't play in the second half of Game 2 because Cleveland's medical staff decided it was better for him to rest than risk making his injury worse.

Iman Shumpert, who didn't play at all in Game 1, replaced Smith and scored five points.

Lue said he liked how Love attacked a mismatch. "We needed that spark".

Inside the locker room, it appears everything was understood.

The team has failed to get into their sets, often burning 8-10 seconds just standing at the top of the arc before moving into a simple 1-3 or 3-5 pick and roll.

"We don't get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn't go insane, he has class and he just plays the game", Fizdale said. He had missed the last dozen games due to a left calf strain suffered in practice. He scored four in nine minutes. George was then handed offseason acquisitions like Al Jefferson, Aaron Brooks and Kevin Seraphin, who had never been accused of racing up the court or spacing the floor.

Note: Glenn Robinson III played in his first game since March 26. Earlier in the game Love had taken a forearm to the face, the result of George trying to use Love as a launch pad. This makes little-to-no sense, but hey, I'm only reporting what happened. He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers, miscues that allowed the Pacers to hang around.

Altre relazioni OverNewsmagazine

Discuti questo articolo