3 SHOTS | 3 observations from the first half of Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics Game 5
Welcome back to '3 Shots' as we review the first half of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the Cavaliers looking to close out the Celtics in Boston. The Wine and Gold have played championship basketball and hold a commanding 75-57 lead at the break. Here's what we've seen so far:
1. Kevin Love is the Cavs pace-setter
When you watch the Cavaliers at their best, it seems like each member of the 'Big 3' has their time to shine in a particular quarter. More often than not, it's Kevin Love getting off to the hot start in the first period. Tonight, Love scored the Cavs' first 8 points and finished the first quarter with 10 points and 5 rebounds. Getting Love engaged early offensively usually means the ball movement for the Wine and Gold is going well with plenty of spacing.
2. LeBron James is healthy and chasing history
Now that we know courtesy of Richard Jefferson that LeBron James was not healthy in Game 3 of these Eastern Conference Finals (and I suspect he wasn't 100% in Game 4 either), we can stop worrying about any lack of engagement of focus by The King. Tonight, LeBron is locked in on both sides of the floor and looking every bit like the MVP that we all know he is. James has 20 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and a blocked shot. He's also taken a charge.
LeBron stands just eight points behind Michael Jordan for the NBA's all-time scoring mark for the playoffs.
3. What's up with Griff?
This is actually a pregame observation. Our buddy Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, who is serving as a Cavs analyst for us in this postseason joined Dave Chudowsky during Donovan Live! Contract negotiations between the Wine and Gold and General Manager David Griffin apparently are still stalled. In Jason's words, "the silence is deafening." The Cavs denied Atlanta and Orlando permission to interview Griffin, and the Bucks are rumored to be taking a run at Griff as well. You wonder what's going on behind closed doors? Save your jokes about LBJ being the architect of this team, 'Griffin the Magician' has done a masterful job of putting this roster together, while dealing with distractions aplenty during this season. If this score holds and the Cavs have a week between now and the NBA Finals, here's hoping the two sides can hammer out a deal.