Cleveland Cavaliers better make some changes — Terry Pluto

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers might be healthy for the NBA Playoffs.But they certainly weren’t ready, as was apparent while watching them get ambushed by the Indiana Pacers, 98-80, at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday.Here’s the disclaimer: It’s the opening game of the best-of-seven first round of the postseason. There are no back-to-back games, meaning adjustments can be made.But scoring only 80 points? That’s 80 points from a team that averaged 110 points a game this season!The starting lineup of George Hill and Rodney Hood in the backcourt with a frontcourt of Kevin Love, LeBron James and Jeff Green looked like five guys in a playground pickup game who had never seen each other before.At the end of the first quarter, Indiana had a 33-14 lead.”You can’t ease into the playoffs,” said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. “They attacked us first, hit us and we never recovered.”Lue and his coaching staff better get to work.Let’s start with the starters.FIX THE LINEUPLet’s start with this piece of advice: Change the lineup!Hill, Hood and Green were remarkably passive. It’s not because James was taking all the shots. In fact, that’s another issue. James didn’t take his first shot of the first quarter until 10 minutes were gone … and the Cavs were behind, 25-8.I really don’t know what they were trying to do on offense early in the game — maybe because they didn’t know, either.But here are some ideas:1. Green should go to the bench, Larry Nance should start. Green is 31. He has appeared in 39 playoff games. So starting should not have overwhelmed him. But … it overwhelmed him. Green didn’t score in 25 minutes, missed all six of his shots.2. Hill is 31. He has been in 83 playoff games — averaging 13.1 points. But he threw up a couple of early air balls and had an embarrassing lob pass that went nowhere. He finished with seven points and one assist in 19 minutes.3. The backcourt of Hill and Hood looked so passive. I’d go to Jose Calderon quickly if that continues in Game 2. He can replace either guard.4. Love is supposed to be the second scoring option. He took three shots in the first quarter — all jumpers. And misses. Put Love near the rim and give him the ball in the low post. Love had a game-high 17 rebounds. But he scored only nine points on 3-of-8 shooting.5. James needs to score early when he sees his teammates struggling. He seemed to just pass and watch it. Maybe his plan was let his teammates score early. If so, it didn’t work. James made two free throws for his only points in the first quarter.6. Will the Cavs change anything? “No,” said Lue. “We need to change our mindset. We need to be more physical.”

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