INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – LeBron James has repeated it repeatedly during the playoffs: the triple is a big part of the offensive formula of the Cleveland Cavaliers and while it may be a point of frustration and a debate on whether it is the best approach , the Cavs are not going to get away from him now.
But after firing just 24.6 percent from beyond the arc in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, Cleveland is looking for ways to change that quickly one of its biggest advantages is its fall.
"They do a great job of answering punches," said Kevin Love on Friday afternoon after practice. "They've been physical throughout the postseason and Brad Stevens will put them in really great positions to be successful, their strength is their team, they play extremely well, the guys are intensifying over the course of the playoffs, we have to bring it home and make sure to get out and be in attack mode. "
This series with Boston follows the same script as Round One. Against the defensive-minded Pacers, the Cavs' offense seemed completely out of sync.
With the 3-ball not falling, hitting only 32 percent from beyond the arc, the Cavs did not have too many places to turn to. consistency on that end of the floor. They fought to reach the 100-point mark most nights. The love struggles did not help. Nor George Hill's back injury. But the missing 3-pointer was the biggest culprit, leading to questions about making philosophical changes on the fly and not so much from the depths.
But Cleveland remained true to its identity and all those problems disappeared in the semifinals of the conference. The Cavs made 46 triples in the four-game sweep, hitting 41.1 percent.
"Up to this point I think we got better shots in the Toronto series," said Kyle Korver, who made 14 3-pointers and threw 56 percent against. the Raptors. "But that's what happens when you advance in the playoffs, we do not expect us to execute the correct play to get open shots, that's not how it works, there are four teams left for a reason, to be ready for the shots we receive and we know that everyone is open, we have to start doing some. "
The Cavs did it in the first half of Game 2, going to 7 of 14 from 3-point range. James went 4-for-7 and Korver made both attempts. Not in vain they scored 55 points and took an advantage of seven points in half.
But as has been the case throughout the season, the Cavs began to unravel when the outside shots stopped falling. It is your most accurate barometer of success or failure.
During a second half stretch in which Korver said he could feel frustrated, they got only 3 out of 17 from long distance. The maddening Celtics played a role in that, allowing only three of 39 unopposed shots, turning a close game that Cleveland seemed capable of winning a Boston fugitive. For the game, the Celtics challenged almost half of Cleveland's shooting attempts.
The solution to get a cleaner look, according to Lue and other players, is to accelerate the offensive.
This could not only free up shots for Korver, Love, JR Smith and perhaps even struggling with Hill in the transition, but it would prevent the Cavs from having to repeatedly run against the defensive of the stifling Celtics who occupied the post Number 1 during the regular season.
"I think one of the things we definitely talked about is the biggest beat," Korver said. "When we are playing slow and very rarely in the playoffs, your first option is to be open, you execute a play, you play a set and very rarely that shot is going to be open for someone so you have to keep pbading the ball, you have to keep moving, continue to put screens, take the ball out of bounds faster, run the court faster and make mistakes.
"If we play slowly, they are too good. I think that will help us get better shots, help us make more shots and help us play with more energy. "
The only thing that will not change is his confidence in the triple, the Cavs took third place in the regular season in 3s per game, fifth in attempts and sixth in percentage.
So far in the playoffs, they are third in attempts despite being 13th in percentage and they have been worse against the Celtics.  Hill is 1 of 4 Smith is 0 out of 7. James is 5 out of 16. Korver and Love are 3 out of 10.
"We just have to be more consistent with our energy," Korver said. I think the most important thing is that we can not be frustrated when things do not go our way. It has been a challenge for us all year. We just have to stay positive "