How Cleveland Can Win Game 4


When you came across this, you were probably thinking this was going to say “Find a way to stop KD.”

Well, that’s definitely part of the formula, but we’ll get to that later.

Start Rodney Hood

Yes, Ty Lue, it’s time. The guy you handed DNP’s to in the first two games of the series deserves a spot in the starting lineup. In 26 minutes on Wednesday, Hood dropped 15 points (7-11 FG), six rebounds and two blocks. He looked smooth sans rust, and provided a much needed spark to a struggling Cleveland offense. He was providing what LeBron hasn’t really had all series; help. The frustrating thing about this for Cavs fans was that Hood took only two shots in the final nine minutes of game 3. Hood deserves to start (Sorry J.R) and play at least 35 minutes, with heavy involvement in what has been a very static offense. J.R Smith has been well-below average on both ends of the floor through three games of this series, and it’s time Cleveland unleashes someone who can actually create his own shot.

Locate Kyle Korver

The 37-year-old sharpshooter has been virtually nonexistent in this series. He has four points (yes, four) through 3 games. One three-point make (1/6 overall) and one technical free throw is all we have seen from Korver offensively. We’re used to seeing him run around screens and nail multiple three-pointers a game, but that has stopped. The Warriors have prevented him from firing up his usual amount of three’s, and have made it quite difficult for him when he was able to shoot them. Some consider Korver as Cleveland’s third scoring option behind LeBron and Kevin Love, but we have yet to see that version of Kyle Korver. If Cleveland can find a way to unlock Korver’s slump, they allow themselves a shot at a game four victory.

Make KD Sweat

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. We basically saw the same thing all game long on Wednesday. Kevin Durant found himself switched onto a smaller guy, and he made nearly every shot with that mismatch, no matter how hard the smaller guy (usually George Hill) was able to pressure him. In a post-quarter interview, Ty Lue said “We’re blitzing him.” Not once did I see that happen in the 4th quarter, where KD single-handedly propelled Golden State to victory. On a night where the Splash Brothers were a combined 7-27 from the field and 3-15 from deep, you have to force KD to pass the ball to his struggling sidekicks. Once KD finds his way down the key, it was goodnight from there. The Warriors blitzed LeBron on several occasions to force the ball out of his hands, and it did work to an extent. Now, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are bound to bounce back, but the Cavs dropped the ball with this one in what can be looked at as their second opportunity to beat the Warriors through three games.

Kevin Durant is bound to get his share of shots and points, but if the Cavs can unleash Rodney Hood, locate Kyle Korver and make KD sweat, they’ll have a pretty good shot at forcing a game five.

Game 4 tips off tonight at 9 PM ET on ABC.




About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager at TLSM and Bucks Lead branch. Currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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