The Cleveland Cavaliers looked incredible as they dominated the Toronto Raptors, ending the series after four games. However, is this play sustainable?
As the Cleveland Cavaliers get some much-needed and much-deserved rest, they’ll also lose the rhythm they’d gained after a tedious seven-game series and a relatively easy four-game sweep.
That rhythm vaulted some of their role players to incredible performances percentage-wise. Performances that the Cavaliers haven’t gotten from these certain role players all season long.
JR Smith and Jeff Green have been the two prime examples.
In the four games against Toronto, the East’s top seed, Smith and Green both played excellently. They played so well that it’s hard to see them repeating it any time soon.
For Smith, it was his efficiency that was on another level.
As a matter of fact, as the Cleveland Cavaliers entered the playoffs, many thought JR Smith wouldn’t even be in the team’s rotation. After all, besides sharpshooting, what does Smith bring to the table?
Against the Raptors, he completely flipped that script. Smith shot just 37.5% from deep throughout the regular season, but during the series against Toronto, he shot over 75% from downtown.As
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The volume three-point shooting was the same too. Smith averaged 4.5 attempts from three per game in the regular season and 3.3 in this second-round series. However, Smith did shoot 5.5 two-point field goals per game which were up significantly from his 2.6 two-point attempts during the regular season.
He shot well, but he also drove well, defended well, and displayed a positive attitude that his teammates to willingly followed.
That to say, the aggressive JR is the much better version of JR, but will his offensive assertion continue?
And, if it continues, will he be able to keep his shot going at this rate?
As for Jeff Green, he is really the only other Cavalier that played at an unsustainable level in the Cavs last series. Efficiency-wise, Green shot over 20% better from the field in the second series than he did in the first.
Along with shooting better, Green averaged more steals, blocks, rebounds, three-pointers made, and assists. All that combined with Green averaging fewer turnovers and it’s clear that he took his game to a new level. Just like Smith, it was a level that fans weren’t quite used to.
However, on the flip side, LeBron James from both three-point land and from the free throw line took a sharp dip in the Cavs second round. Will he sustain that decline as the postseason continues in just about a week?
Overall, the Cavaliers, who still don’t know their Eastern Conference Finals opponent, will need to figure out how to sustain this play.
At their current level, the Cavs can compete with anyone in the NBA, even Golden State and Houston. But, can they sustain it?
That’s the real question.