2. Battling in the paint
The Cavs came into Monday night shorthanded in the paint to say the least. With Tristan Thompson out with a sprained ankle and Kevin Love still out with a hand fracture, they seemed to be in no position to contend with league-leading rebounder Andre Drummond in the paint.
The last time the Cavs played the Pistons, Drummond lit them up with 21 points and 22 rebounds. On Monday, he had 15 points and nine rebounds and mostly came alive in the second half.
Larry Nance Jr. played the biggest part in defending him inside.
“I just tried to hit first,” Nance Jr. said when asked about guarding Drummond. “A guy like that, anytime a shot goes up, he’s trying to wedge you under the basket and stuff like that. So you have to really pre-box out, almost, You’ve gotta see and anticipate. … My whole game plan, to be honest with you, was just I don’t care if I had zero rebounds, I just wanted him to have zero as well.”
Larry Nance Jr. on guarding Drummond: “I just tried to hit first. … a guy like that you really have to pre box out almost” pic.twitter.com/J6pcG18Ktm
— Ashley Bastock (@AshleyBastock42) March 6, 2018
On top of keeping Drummond under control, the Cavs also won the rebounding battle, 53-40, and the points in the paint battle, 40-26.
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