Cavaliers Notes: Game 1, Strus, Allen, Wade

The Cavaliers seemed to use Game 1 to try to figure out how to handle the top-seeded Celtics for the rest of the series, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Cleveland was overwhelmed in the second half on Tuesday on the way to a 25-point loss, but Vardon writes that the players didn’t appear shaken by the defeat and are viewing it as a learning experience.

“I think you can see the formula of how to attack, how to put yourself and the group in proper positions to succeed,” Donovan Mitchell said. “I think you can figure some things out (after one game), but we’ve got to make some shots. They’re a high-volume team, a high-powered team.”

The main concern coming out of the opener is how to reduce the number of good shots Boston is getting from beyond the arc, Vardon adds. The Celtics pulled away by making 18 three-pointers, including seven by Derrick White and four from Jaylen Brown.

“We have to do a better job of limiting the amount of three-pointers that they took,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “That’s being in our spots as early as we can be, but doing a better job than we did tonight of reading the basketball.”

There’s more on the Cavaliers:

  • Most of Cleveland’s roster has never faced the Celtics in a playoff series, but this is the third year in a row for Max Strus, Vardon notes. Strus said that with Kristaps Porzingis injured, Boston’s current lineup is very similar to the team that Miami defeated in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
  • Jarrett Allen continues to struggle with a rib injury that he suffered in Game 4 of the first-round series with Orlando. Allen missed the rest of that series and wasn’t able to play in Game 1 against Boston. “He hasn’t been feeling comfortable at all with that rib contusion,” Shams Charania said on Run It Back by FanDuel (video link). “… There hasn’t been much optimism that he was going to play last night, we’ll see in the games to come if there is.” Allen is “really uncomfortable,” according to Charania’s sources.
  • Dean Wade has already been ruled out for Thursday’s Game 2, tweets Chris Fedor of Wade has been sidelined since March 8 with a sprained right knee, but the Cavs are hopeful that he can return at some point during this series.
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