Washington: Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says he wants to see more aggressive play from LeBron James after a blowout loss to Indiana to open the NBA play-offs.
James had a triple-double against the Pacers in a 98-80 game-one home loss on Sunday, but the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player went 10 minutes at the start of the game before taking his first shot and by then Indiana led 25-8.
Lue says that can’t happen again for James in Game 2 on Wednesday.
“He has to be aggressive and set the tone early,” Lue said. “We talked about that today, him just being aggressive early, setting the tone, especially for these new guys, bringing these guys along.
“He understood that, but once again, he’s always a guy trying to get his teammates off early, get them guys going, then try to feel the game out. But be ready to set a tone.”
Cleveland shot only 38.5 per cent from the floor, with six turnovers and five baskets in the first quarter.
“It’s about being more aggressive, attacking the basket,” Lue said. “It’s also about physicality on post ups, things like that. We’ve got to take better care of the basketball, give them less points in transition.
“We just got to do a better job offensively scoring the basketball and taking care of the basketball We can’t give up 21 points in transition. That’s where they thrive.
“If we can take those little easy points away, I think we’ll be fine.”
The loss was the first by James in a first-round NBA playoff series since 2012 when his Miami squad lost to New York.
Lue said he would look at line-up changes, which could see more time on the court for two veterans of Cleveland’s 2015 championship run, guard JR Smith and forward Tristan Thompson.