Kevin Love confident Cavs' shooting will improve in Game 2

Tanya Simon
May 15, 2018

Lue said he'd move Love to the power forward spot and insert Thompson into the lineup because of his past success guarding Celtics center Al Horford.

"Looking at the statistics, over the last three years of at least 30 possessions, out of all the guys who've guarded Al Horford, Tristan is No. 1 in the league defending Al Horford", Lue said. "I think that's a good thing to know".

Thompson played 21 minutes off the bench, totaling eight points and 11 rebounds, in Game 1. We had a really tough loss and he came out and played really well.

Tristan Thompson could be earning his way back into the Cavaliers' good graces, too. Thompson made eight of 13 shots, five of five free throws and pulled down 19 rebounds (13 offensive).

Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue is not going to waste a second trying to get his team back on track. Lue said he had considered adjusting his starting lineup before the series started.

Thompson is clearly ready. The Celtics outscored the Cavs 60-38 in the paint and had a 48-40 edge in rebounds. We weren't able to get there. We've just got to communicate.

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Love assured the assembled media after morning practice at the Garden Monday that the Cavs will be better from the perimeter Tuesday night's Game 2 clash on Causeway Street.

And while that's a potential tradeoff the Cavaliers would most definitely take after Game 1, it would also force the Cavaliers to play a little bit bigger than they have this postseason, especially in recent games. He's always responded big and I imagine it will be a lot like Game 2 against Indiana. In five games, Horford an unreal eFG% of 81.8 when Thompson was off the court and a rough 43.5 when Thompson was on the court, according to NBA.com.

"I'll just be myself, be active early", Thompson said. "Horford's playing very well right now and he's shooting the crap out of the ball", Thompson said of Horford, who's shooting.593 from the field, including.379 on threes. "Just try to work (Horford) on both ends so hopefully by the second half his legs might be a little exhausted where he might not make that three that he makes in the first half".

But don't expect Celtics coach Brad Stevens to fall for the potential smokescreen that is Thompson's starting presence.

"I don't think we were soft defensively", Lue said. "Obviously when I check in the game I'll try to break that toughness and that energy".

It is easy to point to the high-profile absences of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and assume the Celtics are overmatched like the Pacers were against a team featuring James, but that would be a disservice to a stifling defense that set the tone Sunday.

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