CLEVELAND — As midnight passed in the Cleveland Cavaliers locker space in the moments after their Game 4 loss to the Golden State Warriors, it practically seemed like there were two separate teams inhabiting the space.
LeBron James was in the coaching space obtaining stitches in his head. Matthew Dellavedova was receiving his now-standard postgame full-body ice bath. Iman Shumpert had an enormous ice bag wrapped around his left shoulder. But there were others, lots of others, who had been dressed and gone speedily with no will need to even shower as they hadn’t broken a sweat all night.
The Cavs are certainly playing with a lot of grit in these Finals — that the series is tied two-two regardless of their decimating injuries is a statement. But there is also a robust feeling within the group, a number of sources stated, that coach David Blatt could rely extra on the veterans he’s been leaving unused on the bench.
Blatt played only seven players in Game four just before clearing the bench in the fourth quarter when the game turned into a blowout. He played eight in the very first 3 games with Mike Miller obtaining a few minutes in Games two and three. With various players, James and Dellavedova specifically, searching worn down from the demands in the playoffs, players have begun to privately grumble that Blatt wants to use his complete roster.
With Warriors coach Steve Kerr going to a perimeter-heavy offense with Andre Iguodala in for Andrew Bogut, the really feel is Blatt could take a further appear at Miller and maybe give veteran Shawn Marion, who has however to play in the series, a look. With the Warriors’ depth on the wing, the Cavs ended up becoming stretched exceedingly thin.
Numerous sources stated Marion, who already has announced he’ll retire following the season, is particularly itching to get a likelihood. He’s not too long ago been bothered by a calf injury and also dealt with a hip injury in the typical season but is healthier and in a position to go.
“[It] was the third game in five days, which includes the trip back from the West Coast, and it seemed to have an effect on us,” Blatt said just after the 19-point Game 4 loss. “We’re thinner now than we have been, but that’s not an excuse. We have not utilised it as an excuse yet, and we will not start off now. We’ve just all got to pick it up.”
1 of the reasons the Cavs turned issues about at midseason was mainly because Blatt shortened his rotation. Just after sometimes playing 10 players in the initial quarter of games and playing 11 in his rotation early in the season, Blatt sliced his rotation to eight in January as the Cavs took off to a superb second half of the season.
In addition, playing a so-called “massive” lineup with both Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson has been powerful given that Kevin Love’s injury. Contemplating the good results, it is simple to recognize why Blatt has been hesitant to go away from what has worked.
Miller has struggled shooting all season, hitting just 33 % of his shots in the standard season. Marion created 24 begins but lost his spot in the rotation just after midseason trades. Both have been non-aspects in the playoffs, combining to score just eight points total.
When asked about the need to have to expand the rotation, LeBron James publicly yielded to Blatt after Game 4 but hinted it could enable him and other folks get some extra rest.