He's earning his money in the playoffs, where the days off give him more time to prepare a defensive plan and give what's an older team more time to rest. Unlike the Pacers, the Raptors' best player isn't blessed with the passing acumen to make the Cleveland Cavaliers pay for doubling him. Against the Pacers in Game 4 and every other game in the series, the Cleveland Cavaliers never faltered when the game went down to the wire. "We got up 12, 13 points but it was because of our defense". And that's all I wanted to see. We're in this together. Getting the stops is most important.
"We didn't play great offensively, but we got stops defensively when we needed to". Because of that, they have plenty of assets - draft pieces, stashed overseas players, etc. - that they can offer up in return for George. Even as recently as game three on Friday saw IN control a game with a 26 point advantage, but just couldn't hold on, leading the way for a Cavaliers comeback performance. They'll obviously have to be dramatically better in that area to last into a third consecutive NBA Finals.
He finished with 74 points, 23 rebounds and 16 assists IN the final two games of the IN series, virtually willing the Cavs to two wins.
During the regular season, Cleveland was 22nd in the league, allowing 108 points per 100 possessions.
The series concluded with Sunday's 106-102 Cavs win. So should there be any concern?
Jusuf Nurkic won't play for the Trail Blazers in Game 4 Monday versus the Warriors as he continues to recover from a non-displaced fracture in his right leg.
"Those first two games, the first one was kind of a feel-out game", Lue said.
Westbrook, who gets more touches per game than nearly any other National Basketball Association player and often carries the Thunder on his back, finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists.
"This past week for whatever reason, things got worse".
"If we want to win, that's the team we have to work toward stacking up against at some point", Paul George said.
LeBron James scored 33 points and made key plays late Sunday (Monday IN Manila) to give the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers a 106-102 victory at IN and a sweep of their playoff series.
Joe Johnson inspired the Jazz with 28 points in game four. Problems on the offensive end led to breakdowns defensively.
James answered with the go-ahead 3-pointer and Cleveland sealed the win on James' free throw with 1 second left.
Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 22 points and six rebounds off the IN bench before fouling out late. They bet that he would miss shots, and this time he didn't.
And by holding on for the win, James improved to 52-0 in the playoffs when his team takes a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter. He also missed the game-tying three with one second left, per NBA.com.
In the Cavs' book, all three count as stops.
BIRD: "I think we've built and will continue to build an exciting and championship-worthy roster here in IN, and one that we'd love you to be the centerpiece of. The Cavs led by seven after a Love 3 before a Young bucket and a George 3 shrunk Cleveland's advantage to 65-63 with 8:19 remaining in the third".
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