The Cavaliers started their Eastern Conference finals series against the Celtics today, aiming to reach the NBA Finals for a fourth straight season. At times, it seemed that the Cavaliers would not make it to this point of the season, evidenced by a series of roster moves, LeBron James‘ pending free agency, and head coach Tyronn Lue‘s frequent changes.
As it turns out, Lue got the blessing of team president Dan Gilbert early in the season to tinker and experiment with different things throughout the season, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes.
“Dan Gilbert told me … you’ve gotta try new things,” Lue said. “Like, in business you gotta try new things. If it works, you’re a genius, if not, you change and do something else. I just think you gotta try things and kinda see how your team reacts to it.”
It was unconventional, but the Cavaliers were able to blow up their roster midseason and then win their first two playoff series.
Check out more Central Division notes below:
- Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer writes that an effective Kevin Love will make the Cavaliers’ chance of advancing to the NBA Finals much easier. Love played well during Cleveland’s second-round matchup against the Raptors, helping the team sweep their way to the Eastern Conference finals.
- Containing LeBron James in the Eastern Conference finals will be crucial for the Celtics if the team has any hopes of advancing to the NBA Finals. Big man Marcus Morris said before Game 1 that he is ready for the challenge of guarding James and feels he can do some successfully, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “I’m a little older, a little more experienced. Personally, I think I’m probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi [Leonard],” he said.
- NBA.com’s Mark Monteith reviewed Ike Anigbogu‘s first NBA season after he taken by the Pacers in the second round last season. Anigbogu only appeared in 11 games but the 19-year-old showed promise during his scare opportunities, Monteith writes.