By Ashley Bastock
As the Cavs watched a 55-48 halftime lead transform into a 13-point loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, they found themselves in familiar, yet uncharted territory in the form of an 2-0 series deficit against the Boston Celtics.
They’ve overcome two significant 2-0 deficits in the past— the first coming in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons, in the first LeBron James era. The second time, and what makes this appear to be a familiar situation, was when they came back to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.
“There’s never comfort [in falling behind 2-0], but we know what it takes,” head coach Tyronn Lue said when asked about that most recent 2-0 series deficit that the Cavs were on the winning end of.
But the reality of the situation is, only four players on the Cavs roster know what it takes. LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith were all in the starting lineup of that 2016 squad. The rest of that roster has since retired or been traded away.
“We can’t expect the other guys to inherit that because they weren’t there when we went through it,” Smith said after Thursday’s practice. “So it’s a totally different group. It’s the same core I would say, but at the same time, it’s a different group. We just gotta approach it like it’s...