Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Cavaliers have grumbled about LeBron James hunting assists

Five Keys Cavaliers at Pacers   
    
      
  Ron Hoskins  NBAE  Getty Images Five Keys Cavaliers at Pacers Ron Hoskins NBAE Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 14 January, 2018, 03:07

Forty games played and 29 wins: Halfway home and the Raptors are well on their way to yet another 50-win season under Dwane Casey's watch, with the magical 60-win total within reach.

The Toronto Raptors got their opportunity to shine in the spotlight and well, they did not disappoint beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 133-99.

One of the downfalls of Cleveland during that quarter was their 32 percent shooting from the field, while their defense allowed IN to hit for five 3-pointers. I played two good years with them.

IN ranks 14th in assists per game (22.7) while Cleveland ranks last in assists allowed per game (25.8).

Adding to the urgency of the situation is a Martin Luther King Day game against the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

James' first miscue came with 2.3 seconds left when he drove baseline around the Pacers' and was whistled for stepping out of bounds, thwarting his chance at a go-ahead layup with the Cavs down 96-95. The Cavs led by 22 after the first quarter.

By contrast, the Warriors lead the league in scoring (115.7 points per game) and three-point shooting (39 per cent). Just got to find a way to get out of it. That's the kind of latitude seven straight Finals trips allows - just as Toronto's repeated failures in the playoffs the last four years means no one will give them the benefit of the doubt that they can duplicate Thursday's performance for an extended period in the postseason. The Pacers had a better turnover percentage (7.7 vs. 10.4) and had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (25.5 vs. 19.6). IN has won three of its last four and has beaten Cleveland three times in one season for the first time since 2013-14. It's the first time in 10 Central Division games Cleveland failed to score at least 100.

Showtime To Broadcast Chelsea Manning Documentary 'XY Chelsea'
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Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie came up one rebound short of a triple-double with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in Brooklyn's 110-105 win over the Hawks.

Coming off its 28-point embarrassing loss to the Timberwolves, the 34-point loss to Toronto was even worse. Jeff Green and Jae Crowder were the second- and third-leading scorers with 13 and 11 each, and Kevin Love, Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade were virtually non-existent.

We've seen this movie before: Lance brought the energy to the building, and Oladipo hit the big shot.

While Rose and Shumpert continue recovering from injuries, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue made a decision to give Thomas and Wade extra rest because of the back-to-backs.

Trying to pinpoint an issue, James noted after this loss that the Cavaliers don't have enough energy in the fourth quarter.

However, Cleveland lacked defensive pressure against an opponent that was playing without two starters in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. "You can lose games, but you can't get blown out".

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