Defensive breakdowns. Bad shots. That's not why the Cavaliers have the league's highest payroll, or why they have LeBron James, the world's best player.
The only score that matters is 2-0. The four-time All-Star insists he was only trying to motivate other players to perform better after losing the first two games in their first-round playoff series against Cleveland.
Indiana Pacers' Jeff Teague (44) passes over Cleveland Cavaliers' J.R. Smith (5) in the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavs are finding their groove. Instead, where he did damage was in transition after turnovers from the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were covering each of the first two games before the fourth quarter, when IN rallied both times.
Paul George scored 32 and Jeff Teague 23 for IN, which showed more fight, but now has a steep hill to climb to get back IN the series. This season, Cleveland once again ran away with the Central Division, beating the Bucks and Pacers by 9 games.
Shumpert picked up a foul guarding George in his first 30 seconds on the floor before knocking down a 3-pointer from the corner, forcing in coach Nate McMillan to call time.
And while he's determined to play and committed to the Cavs, Smith's mind is never far from his daughter.
Stephenson rejoined the Pacers in March, just a couple weeks before the start of the playoffs. "He needs to know at this point he has to take it to the next level".
"Everybody knows how close I am with my teammates and I said that only to motivate my teammates to win this series and win a championship. We were moving, we were flying around and we were communicating on coverages and allowed us to have that third". "And that was big". Korver has scored four points combined in the last two games, so needless to say, he has not been a factor.
Now, they're heading home in a hole they still believe they can climb from.
Veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith has averaged 12.9 points in his 14 National Basketball Association seasons. When Smith was kept out, Iman Shumpert did a decent job guarding George. "Whatever he needed, we would have been there to support him".
Pacers: Glenn Robinson III returned after missing the past 12 games with a strained left calf.
One of the two losses during that stretch saw them blow a 15-point lead, too, with Kyle Korver scoring 29 points in 26 minutes off the bench for the Cavs. Cleveland's point guard Kyrie Irving also scored 20+ points per game, and Kevin Love is a solid scorer as well. McMillan said the team was told by security officials to stay in their hotel Sunday night while Cleveland police searched for a suspected killer, who randomly murdered an elderly man while posting the shooting on Facebook. "It wasn't called for the first half of this game because of the circumstances", James said. A moment of silence was observed for Robert Godwin Sr., the 73-year-old tragically gunned down by the Facebook assailant.
Smith made it through the Cavs' entire practice Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavaliers finished 4th in the league with 110 points per game.