PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ improved defense helps them to Finals


The Cleveland Cavaliers are not in the Finals without LeBron James playing like the best player on the planet. They are not there without J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson stepping up, or without Kyrie Irving playing through pain.

But they are also playing good defense, and that’s what Jenna Corrado and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.

The Cavaliers are allowing 98.5 points per 100 possesions in the playoffs, the best of the four teams to reach the Conference Finals. Opponents are shooting just 41.2 percent against them through three rounds.

The question to be answered in the Finals: Was that just because they were in a soft East? The Celtics were not a very good team, Pau Gasol was injured in the Bulls series, and the Hawks were a mess on offense. How much of that was good Cavaliers defense and how much was bad opponent offense?

This much is for sure: Golden State (or maybe Houston, but probably Golden State) will provide an entirely different level of challenge.