Tony Z's 5 Things to Watch in Game 3 - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Tony Z's 5 Things to Watch in Game 3

LeBron James (Source: WOIO) LeBron James (Source: WOIO)
DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

*Passion
The most discouraging part of the Cavaliers' losses in Games 1 and 2 were the seemingly lack of effort and passion at times. Both J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson admitted after the 33-point beatdown in Game 2 that the Warriors "wanted it more than we did".
Huh? How is that possible in the NBA Finals?? Maybe they were just reaching for some sort of rationale after being run off the court, but no doubt, there were times the Cavs were just standing around and seemed emotionally out of it. Clearly, that needs to
change tonight. 

*Home Sweet Home
This is where YOU come in. The fans will bring their "A" games, in terms of energy and excitement, and the Cavs will feed off that. But that only goes so far. If the Warriors make an early run, it'll not only quiet the crowd, it will instill a sense of dread
that the end is near. The Cavaliers need a strong start, and they need to keep the pedal down. 

*Paging Mr. Smith
Where has J.R. been in this series? The same place he was in last year's Finals, when he basically disappeared. "Swish" has been silent, putting up a total of 9 shots in this series, and averaging only 4 points per game, about a third of what he had been
contributing in these playoffs. Not nearly enough. He prides himself on being able to create a shot with a defender in his face. Let's see it again. 

*Love Hurts
Maybe Kevin Love will play, maybe he won't. He did take part in the morning shootaround, a necessity to clear the concussion protocol. But keep in mind, he'd only scored 5 points when he went out early in the third quarter of Game 2, and his defense has
been a liability. If Love can't go, Richard Jefferson will likely start.  But it'll take more than RJ to pick up the slack. Channing Frye, this is your wake-up call.

*LeBron Time
The first four points here are all important, but this is the biggest: LeBron must take over. Physically and emotionally. He may not have the jump or the shot that he did years ago, but he's still the best all-around player in the game, and he must elevate
his teammates. James is locked in. He interrupted Frye's media session today, saying "C'mon, we've got work to do". Excellent. Now bring that determination and swagger to the "Q". They'll need it. 

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