After back-to-back losses against the Toronto Raptors, the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing their first period of adversity in this postseason, and for the first time since the 'big three' of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love came together in Ohio.
After their game two victory over the Raptors which moved them to 10-0 in the playoffs this year, LeBron stated that they would face some bumps along the way in their journey to win a championship and was confident his team could handle it.
His teammates - Love in particular - though, appear to be contradicting his assertion and have struggled over the last two games. Love scored 13 points on 5-of-23 from the field, including 3-of-11 from beyond the arc in those defeats which has seen Cleveland's commanding 2-0 series lead wiped away.
Have your say on GiveMeSport - NBA by taking part in our survey here: http://gms.to/1ZIq9kk
After starting out hot in the series - averaging 26.5 points on 59 percent shooting in the first two games - Irving's production dropped to 19.5 points per game on 35 percent shooting and 26.7 percent from beyond the arc in the two encounters in Toronto.
With the Eastern Conference Finals matchup returning to The Land tonight for a crucial game five, head coach Tyronn Lue says the team knows exactly what they have to do to reclaim the advantage.
"We had a great film session today and we've seen what we need to do," the Cavs head coach said. "We're ready and prepared for it."
The rookie coach tried out multiple lineups on the floor in the game four loss, most of which included James on the court. The King played a postseason high of 46 minutes but was unable to lead his team to a win.
The 32-year-old attempted just one shot in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter and fatigue could've played a huge part in that, but Lue has no hesitation in playing his superstar for extended periods.
"I'm comfortable playing him -- whatever he feels good, I'm comfortable with," Lue said. "We talked about it before the game and the night before how his body felt and wanting to play more minutes because we knew it was a big game for us, but it didn't work out."
Another important adjustment made by Lue saw Channing Frye assume Love's fourth quarter minutes and was a major reason for the Cavs' comeback late in the game connecting on 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
The coach also often put Frye at center in an attempt to draw Bismack Biyombo out of the paint which he has owned in the last two games - picking up a franchise record 26 rebounds in game three as a result.
However, if the Cavaliers are to overcome the Raptors and ultimately win a first championship, they need better production from K-Love who can be an x-factor for this team as he showed in the first two rounds.
"He's just missed shots," Lue said of Love. "That's part of the game. I mean, you know, he's been playing great all playoffs and at some point you're going to miss some shots."
Having relied so much on the three-ball throughout the playoffs, the Wine and Gold need those shots to fall if they are to return to the NBA finals and have another shot at claiming that elusive Larry O'Brien trophy.