Oct 28, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
2. Limit Transition Opportunities
The Cleveland Cavaliers boast one of the NBA’s elite transition attacks. Between LeBron James’ unstoppable runs to the basket and Kevin Love’s perfectly placed outlet passes, this comes as no surprise.
In order for the New York Knicks to pull out the upset, Derek Fisher will need to find a way to limit Cleveland’s transition scoring opportunities.
According to NBA.com, the Cavaliers are No. 3 in the NBA with 18.8 fast break points per game. New York checks in at a distant No. 20 with just 11.1 points scored in transition per game.
Those numbers are admittedly skewed by a small sample size, but Cleveland’s is accurate to what it hopes to and is capable of accomplishing.
The Cavaliers averaged just 11.3 fast break points per game in 2014-15, but have shifted to a more up-tempo attack in 2015-16. Love’s increased role includes his crashing the boards and finding streaking scorers in transition.
Even if it means sacrificing an attack on the offensive glass, New York must do all it can to keep the Cavaliers’ offense in the half court.
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