Sport Despite their best efforts, the Cavaliers didn't flip the switch in Game 1

17:50  16 april  2017
17:50  16 april  2017 Source:   FOXSports

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Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers . After 50 games of coasting through the regular season, LeBron James’ squad decided to show up to work in its playoff opener. Cleveland let the Indiana Pacers hang around for the first half of Game 1 on Saturday

The Cleveland Cavaliers turned up the intensity for Game 1 of the playoffs — but they didn ' t quite flip the switch . Cavaliers escape with win over Pacers in playoff opener. NEXT STORY. Celtics, even as No. 1 seed, feel 'like an underdog' as playoffs open.

Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After 50 games of coasting through the regular season, LeBron James’ squad decided to show up to work in its playoff opener.

Cleveland let the Indiana Pacers hang around for the first half of Game 1 on Saturday, as neither team showed any interesting in stopping the other. But in the third quarter, the Cavs scrapped like Matthew Dellavedova was still in town and turned a couple defensive stands into a double-digit lead and an eventual 109-108 win.

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Are the Cavs flipping the switch much like the early-2000s Lakers? The Cavaliers have been without their second- best player in Isaiah Thomas as he recovers from a hip injury. Despite Williams’ efforts , the Clippers fell short of making the postseason, which some may argue should

David Fizdale and the Grizzlies found some life on Thursday night, beating the Spurs 105-94 to cut their series deficit to 2-1. Harden has made The Warriors could simply flip the switch in Game 1 of the playoffs, but they're not going in with the best of habits. Whether they were a team that lost despite

You can see it with your own eyes. The Cavs finally — finally — made an effort on defense. They recognized all that disrespectful nonsense they pulled in the regular season is in the past. They buckled down and played like champions when it mattered most.

Yet they didn’t flip the switch.

Deciding you care about the outcome of a game is a step in the right direction. Giving your all all on every possession is even better.

Contrary to what you might have heard, though, NBA defense isn’t just about trying hard.

Kevin Garnett wasn’t one of the all-time greats because he yelled the loudest and wanted to fight everyone on every possession. He combined heart with intelligence, communication, and a hard-earned understanding of what every opponent wanted to do on offense.

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“And the symbolic flipping of the switch exhibits our commitment to better effort and execution.” The Cavaliers closed the regular season 23-23 and lost their last four games and fell out of the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Item: The Cavaliers just can’ t flip “ The Switch ” on defense Sub-Item: About that rim protector they didn ’ t get at the trading deadline. Does a team generally not foul much, except later in the game when they get tired on D, but also their opponent has fatigue shooting FTs?

Intensity alone gets you only halfway there. An elite defense has to scheme well, then execute that scheme consistently. How do you want to handle the pick-and-roll? Do you send a ball-handler toward the baseline on the strongside, or do you need to account for the shooter sliding to the 3-point line? Who helps when the ball gets into the paint — and who helps the helper?

No amount of elbow grease can solve those questions, but if you want to win a title, you’d better have answers. Engaged or not, the Cavaliers are still a long way away from that kind of cohesion.

They made every effort to stop the Pacers in the pick-and-roll, after all, and the results were disastrous. Indiana got whatever it wanted as Cleveland tried to remember how to work as a unit against the most basic of basketball actions. Even LeBron, doing his best KG impersonation, shouted for teammates to rotate to the wrong player on multiple occasions.

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The Cavs’ Finals has overshadowed this to some degree, but Cleveland did flip the switch . Despite a pair of blowout losses to begin the Finals, no team in that time span increased their playoff point differential it by as much as the Cavaliers did this season.

Despite their track record of success in both the regular season ( best record in the NBA, 67-15) and postseason (7-0 thus far) as well as what * * * No. 3: Wizards flip switch to pull even against Celtics -- Flipping playoff switches is not only for the like of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers .

Even on that final defensive possession, where the Cavaliers hounded Paul George and kept him from beating them, they allowed an open look (or two).

Cleveland locked in — and lucked out.

So no, the Cavaliers haven’t flipped the switch just because they’re trying. They’re like a fifth grader jolted out of a deep slumber by an all-too-real nightmare, stumbling through the dark and flailing limbs in the switch’s general direction. They’ll find the light eventually, but it will take time.

The upside? When you have the best player in the world on your team — a guy who does things like this …

… or this, you have about three rounds’ worth of playoff games to figure things out:

The Cavs won’t be content with a one-point Game 1 win. They know there’s still work to do.

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Yet the Cavaliers promised that things would eventually be fine because, according to Coach Tyronn Lue, they were holding back their best stuff for the This is where the proverbial “ flipping the switch ” comes in. Cleveland’s backers have maintained it will figure things out once the games begin to

He’s heard Kevin Durant claim that the torch for the game ’s best player was passed in the NBA Finals, and James is Teams in the East had their chance to create some separation while the Cavaliers were searching for non-LeBron answers, tripping over themselves and waiting to flip a switch on

When it comes to flipping the switch, you have to trust the process.

PHOTOS:  2017 NBA PLAYOFFS

LeBron James surpasses Kobe Bryant on the NBA playoff scoring list .
The King is on his way to No. 1 all time.Midway through the second quarter of Game 3 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, James surpassed Bryant for third on the playoff scoring list with 5,641 career postseason points. Kobe scored 5,640 points in 220 career playoff games, while Wednesday was LeBron’s 202nd.

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