INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — They’ve survived amid turmoil for months, their season morphing into the NBA’s most compelling reality show — or, as some have called it, spectacle. The must-watch Cleveland Cavaliers have been hardened by the nonstop drama around them. So it’s not a surprise they’re calm despite trailing the Boston Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals. “We know what it takes,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “We’re down 0-2. No need to panic.” “We know what we’ve got to do,” added All-Star forward Kevin Love on the eve of Saturday’s Game 3. The Cavs have been in dire straits before in the postseason. Just two years ago, Cleveland trailed 2-0 and then 3-1 in the NBA Finals to Golden State
Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost one game before reaching the NBA Finals. The season before that, two. The season before that also two. In Miami before that, the last couple of years they went to the Finals the Heat lost three and four games before reaching the Finals.
This year, the Cavaliers have lost five games already and find themselves down 0-2 to the Boston Celtics heading into Game 3 Saturday night in Cleveland.
“I mean, I lose sleep,” James said after shootaround Saturday morning. “I mean, at the end of the day, when you lose any game in the postseason, [you lose sleep], so it’s never comfort. Playoffs is never comfort. There’s nothing about the playoffs that’s comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer.
“So, for me, it’s always [a] day-to-day grind to figure out ways that you can be better.”
Cleveland has a lot to figure out to win the next two games because if they don’t and go down 3-1 in this series, it’s hard to envision how LeBron can drag this roster back to the Finals (what would be his eighth straight trip).
Offensively Cleveland has to get consistent play from guys other than LeBron (and to a lesser extent, Kevin Love) — J.R. Smith has been awful and needs to find a rhythm at home, George Hill needs to make some plays, Kyle Korver needs to get open and knock down some looks, and some help from the bench is needed.