Cavs-Knicks halftime dribbles

Why did the Cavaliers struggle in the first half and how can they fix it in the second?

Jason Miller/Getty Images

CLEVELAND — Random dribbles from halftime of the Cavaliers’ opener vs. the New York Knicks. The Cavs are clinging to a 44-42 lead:

1. Not surprisingly, the Cavs looked nervous, timid and sloppy. Not surprisingly, LeBron James was the ring leader in that area. LeBron is struggling shooting and just generally looked out of sorts. He has four points on a miserable 1-of-9 shooting.

2. LeBron is also having a hard time holding onto the ball, committing four turnovers. He just can’t seem to get into any sort of rhythm. His lone basket came off a beautiful outlet pass from Kevin Love, in which James finished the break and drew a foul on Carmelo Anthony. Then LeBron missed the free throw.

3. This isn’t intended to rip LeBron. Let’s face it, he’s still the biggest threat on the floor and the Cavs’ greatest reason for hope. But if he’s out of rhythm, the entire team is probably gonna be, too.

4. Love has been fantastic. He’s 5-of-10 from the floor for 14 points with nine rebounds. Both are game-highs through two quarters.

5. The half ended with a beautiful alley-oop from Kyrie Irving (nine points, four assists) to Tristan Thompson (four points) — who finished with a two-handed slam in traffic. Maybe that can loosen up the Cavs in the second half. They should be winning this by 30.

6. Carmelo Anthony is shooting just about every time he touches the ball, and you can’t blame him. He has nine points, but is just 4-of-11 shooting. But quite honestly, he is all the Knicks have.

7. Anderson Varejao is 3-of-3 shooting for eight points. Dion Waiters has scored five. I’ll have tons more after the game.