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Cleveland Cavaliers Turning Corner

Posted by Jay Sanin on 5/8/2016 3:33:57 AM

Despite struggling in the regular season, the Cleveland Cavaliers really look to be turning a corner in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Their mix of timely shooting and capable defense down the stretch of games, they have gone from looking like anything but a guarantee to get back to the NBA Finals to a team that looks capable of winning it if they can manage to stay healthy, which they were unable to do last year.

Stars Playing Like Stars

The odds for success for the Cleveland Cavaliers usually hinges on how well the team's big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love play. So far this postseason, they have been great, all hitting big shots from the perimeter at different points in the playoffs, which has freed up space in the lane to drive to the basket and either score directly or get to the free throw line.

Defensively, while Love is an absolute liability on that end of the floor, James and Irving have been solid at clogging passing lanes to force turnovers, while James can also serve as a rim protector when needed thanks to his insane athletic abilities. As a result, the Cavaliers find themselves on the verge of the Eastern Conference Finals without even having to break a sweat to this point in the NBA Playoffs.

Role Players Stepping Up

Even more important than their stars playing like stars is just how well the role players have done to this point in the playoffs, with new faces emerging to star in victories with each passing week. This week, it's been Channing Frye who has been stepping up for the Cavs, with his ability to score both in the paint and on the perimeter changing live betting odds and making massive impacts against the Atlanta Hawks.

Frye, a decent role player for a number of NBA teams during his career, is finally getting a chance to shine on the big stage of the playoffs, using Cleveland's drive and kick offense to his advantage, as he has spotted up for several big three point shots in the second round for the Cavs. If he can keep up his hot shooting, that's just one more weapon for the Cavs should they reach the NBA Finals.

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