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Cavs may start Shumpert to slow down Durant and Curry

08 June 2017

CLEVELAND - Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is digging in his heels on his approach to coaching his team despite trailing the Golden State Warriors 0-2 heading into Wednesday's Game 3.

"I can't let nobody get close to the King", Smith said Tuesday.

Smith has only attempted six shots from the field in 42 minutes of court time through the first two games of the Finals, making one of them. Having to come off the bench and guard Kevin Durant is obviously a hard assignment, even for LeBron James when he is in the game. "We all have to play better and we will". To make up the roughly 20 points per game they're losing by, then, the Cavaliers' best chance is for players other than James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to contribute.

Trailing Golden State 2-0 in the best-of-seven championship series, the Cavs come home after two lopsided road losses hoping for a repeat of previous year, when a game-three win set the stage for the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history.

ESPN reported after the Cavs fell to 0-2 in the series with a 132-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors Sunday that Lue was considering going with Iman Shumpert instead of Smith. We did it a year ago when a lot of people said we couldn't. Cleveland wouldn't have been able to win either of the first two games with Shumpert in Smith's place, but a shakeup might have had some positive effect. Still, it's evident that Smith made a concerted effort to get between James and the scuffle. When Jefferson got out of the auto, the man said, "We're going to be partying on Saturday". In the Finals, the Cavs are averaging 105.5 possessions per game so far.

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In Game 1, the pace was 102.52 and the Warriors outscored the Cavs 27-9 in fastbreak points.

"So like I said if we do a good job of not turning the ball over and forcing turnovers like we did in Game 3, that will put us in a better position as well and just continue to keep contesting their shots", James said. "We play at our pace".

"We have to play fast". We got to this point playing our way. Just like LeBron started on him to set the tone early, try to bring a physicality to him.

So the only real change for the Cavs is going to be location.

Cavs may start Shumpert to slow down Durant and Curry