The Cleveland Cavaliers were blown out once again in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and they now face the seemingly insurmountable task of turning around the series against arguably the scariest superteam ever assembled.
On Monday's episode of "Undisputed", Shannon Sharpe and Chris Broussard debated whether it is fair to blame LeBron James at all for the Cavs' losses, and Broussard listed what the Cavs must to do compete in Game 3.
LeBron James is doing all he can
“Look, you’re the best player on the team, best player in the world. You get a ton of the credit when you win, you’re going to get some blame, and you deserve some blame [when you lose].
"But let’s face it. LeBron’s played well. I mean, triple-double. He didn’t settle for the jump shot, he only took three 3-pointers. He attacked the rim. We know he had 14 assists, but he set guys up for open looks that they missed.
"If you want to say he wore down toward the end, I can get that. He’s used to playing big minutes, but not at this pace. And he’s used to playing big minutes, but if you notice during the regular season and the playoffs, he doesn’t usually guard the best perimeter player. That allows him to roam and coast and pace yourself. He has to guard [Durant] for the most part full-time, and then have it on the offensive end. So I do think he wore down.”
Cary EdmondsonCary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland must dominate the Warriors on the glass
“If you want to say he can go in the post more, OK. But they have much bigger problems than the play of LeBron.
"They’ve got to dominate the backboards to have a chance. When the Spurs get the best of them, they’re dominating inside, on the glass. They got out-rebounded by 12 yesterday. Tristan [Thompson] gives them four, Kevin Love had a good game but only seven rebounds. They’ve got to hit the glass more.”
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The Cavs need Kyrie to be great to have a chance
“And then obviously Kyrie struggled, and Klay is playing terrific defense.
"I don’t care how good LeBron is, they can’t win if Kyrie’s not phenomenal. He’s got to be great. Because they’re [undermanned], you’re talking about four stars versus three. And four really good stars.”
Skip Bayless: “40-point phenomenal, like he was when they turned it around [in 2016]?”
Chris Broussard: “Like last year. He averaged 27. He’s got to outplay Steph.”
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LeBron needs his surrounding cast to step up
“Basically I look at it like the Big 3 have to [make it] a push. [Golden State’s stars] get 87, Cleveland’s got to be around 83-85 also. Make it a bench ball game.
"But I can’t blame LeBron. OK, he has 28, 14 and 11 last night. He’s averaging 28, 13 and 11. He’s shooting over 50 percent.
"J.R. Smith is giving them four points. Tristan Thompson is giving them eight points and eight rebounds. Deron Williams has yet to score a basket. Kyrie was 8-for-23 last night. And we’re going to blame this on LeBron?”