Cris Carter identifies a glaring, season-long error in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ strategy

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During his conversation with Nick Wright, Jenna Wolfe and Chris Broussard surrounding the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals between Cleveland and Boston, Cris Carter targets the Cavs' abysmal defense, noting why we shouldn't expect a paradigm shift in Cleveland's strategy. Will this derail LeBron's quest for a title this year?

- When they made the trade-- Nance Jr, Clarkson, Rodney Hood, George Hill-- we thought that the oldest team in basketball was going to get more athletic. This is not a very, very athletic team. When you remove Rodney Hood from the rotation, and he's not playing, and JR, his play is totally suspect, they become less athletic. They can't get up and down the court.

This is an offensive driven team. They've got to build to shoot 3's, push the break to be able to generate open 3's. So when they don't have that, you can't depend on their defense. You can't go to 82 games-- I know we'll talk about, oh, they went through a couple of trades, they went through some rotation. But from a philosophy standpoint, it is not their philosophy to play defense.

29th-- I'll keep repeating this-- in the NBA during the 82-game regular. What do we expect to see in the playoff? We expect some transformation that the Cavs are going to be a good defense and no, they're not a good defense. And this talent, as you mentioned, is-- I mean, it's almost criminal to see LeBron, that if he decides to take a break or he gets a little winded, that the team has no chance to win.

- But the defense, though while it's been terrible throughout the regular season and not much better in the playoffs, the defense wasn't the problem yesterday. Problem yesterday was the offense. They would have taken holding Boston to 96 points. The problem is, Kevin Love scored four points after the first quarter. He had ten in the first four points after.

How about this? All the starters, aside from LeBron, after the first quarter, they played 67 minutes. They combined for 13 points-- combined. That's the starting lineup outside of LeBron, quarters two, three, and four. Jordan Clarkson gets in the game, he finds a way to take ten shots in 15 minutes because, of course, he does.

CRIS CARTER: Your second favorite Cav.

- Oh my god.

JENNA WOLFE: But you're not surprised by any of this, Broussard.

- No. This is, Jenna, it's one thing to be bad as a supporting cast. Let me tell you the only times a Cavs supporting cast has been worse.

CRIS CARTER: But Jenna's not wrong.

- What do you mean?

- Because I've been talking about this team--

JENNA WOLFE: Every single day.

- --not being a good team all season. So her thing is, are we surprised? No, we're not surprised, Jenna. No. Now, I'm going to tell where I might be a little surprised. We're surprised-- you know what he said in the Pacers series? Oh, Cris, you know something, the reason why I'm encouraged is because they can't play worse. Huh?

NICK WRIGHT: And in Toronto series, that was true. That was true in the Toronto series.

- But that didn't end the season. Did they pass out some trophies after that?

NICK WRIGHT: No, but I said that in response to you saying the Raptors were going to beat the Cavs. And I said, if LeBron stays at this level, the supporting Cavs won't be worse.

- I told you, in the next series, the also-rans would show up. And that's where we are now. So Jenna, to answer your question, no, we shouldn't be surprised by this team, no.

- And I said it right on this show in this chair. It was blind faith in LeBron. That was the only reason to say, they're going to get to the finals. That was it. There was nothing we saw on the court, outside of those first few days after the trade, when the young boys looked good. But they just have proven they're not ready for prime time.