Oftentimes the matchup of the #1 seed vs. the #8 seed can often seem lopsided. That is simply not the case in this scenario as the Detroit Pistons came ready to play in game one and served the defending Eastern Conference Champions notice that they wont have an easy route to escaping the first round. In a game that featured several lead changes and scoring runs for both teams the Cavaliers were ultimately able to pull ahead for the 106-101 win and a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Pistons are a team that relies heavily on its starters and game one was no exception as all starters played at least 34 minutes. This consistent playing time results with the players having a better feel for one another. Trading deadline acquisition Tobias Harris took some time getting adjusted to the Pistons style of play and now that he is comfortable the team is playing its best basketball of the season. Harris joins Marcus Morris in the starting frontcourt spots and while both are “tweeners” who are not quite traditional small forwards or traditional power forwards however they are a perfect fit in Coach Stan Van Gundy’s system. They are quick enough to defend the perimeter and strong enough to defend the post. On offense they are able to play on the wing as well as the post, capable of exposing a mismatch either way. The duo both played 40 minutes in game one combining for 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assist’s. Kentavios Caldell-Popehad a team high 21 points including 4-8 from the 3-point line. Point guard Reggie Jackson had 17 points and 7 assists but struggled down the stretch by over dribbling several times over games closing minutes. Andre Drummond had 13 points and 11 rebounds while inexplicably sitting out the games final two minutes.

Kryie Irving had a fantastic all around game and finished with a team high 31 points to go along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds while shooting 5-10 from the three point line. Kevin Love had 28 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 4-8 from the three-point line. Lebron James took the role of facilitator and finished with 22 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds. Cleveland went to a rarely used lineup of Love at Center and James at Power forward. For the entire fourth quarter different combinations of guards filled the other 3 spots and the offense flowed while the defense actually improved as the speed on the court was able to cover more ground than usual

What adjustments both coaches make will be the most interesting storyline headed into game 2. How will Detroit account for the Cav’s smaller lineup. One idea would be to focus on getting Drummond established low in the post and have him shoot over smaller defenders. The Cavaliers will need to focus on getting off to a better start. They need to establish dominance early and shake the Pistons confidence because the Pistons showed in game one that once they get going they can be as good as anyone.

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