Danny Green Calls Out ‘Hostile Environment’ Awaiting Cavs Ahead of Crucial Stretch

Danny Green Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Danny Green of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost a playoff-tested veteran in Kevin Love last week, but thankfully gained another in Danny Green the week before.

Fresh on the heels of a buyout with the Houston Rockets, Green selected the Cavs as his next destination. And Cleveland will be leaning heavily on the three-time champ’s experience down the stretch.

Earlier this week, Green provided a little sampling of what the young Cavs squad could expect come playoff time.

“Hostile environments. Every play, every possession is going to be intense,” Green explained.

The playoff stage can be daunting for even the most experienced playoff veterans. But outside Donovan Mitchell, who earned significant playoff experience with the Utah Jazz, the Cavs’ young core is just that: young and green.

Green’s advice: enjoy it.

“You’ve got to embrace it, lose yourself in the moment, lose yourself in the game,” Green explained. “At the same time, be on your P’s and Q’s, execute the best you can and doing your job. Not letting yourself down, your teammates down. We’re going to expect the most out of each other. Just making sure that everybody can embrace the moment and be ready for a hostile environment.”

The Cavs’ schedule offers plenty of opportunities for Cleveland to pick up some playoff-esque experience. Over the next few weeks, Cleveland plays both the Celtics and Heat twice, two potential playoff opponents.

JB Bickerstaff Calls Out Cavs Guards

On Thursday, Cleveland got a little taste of what awaits them come playoff time by battling the West’s top seeded Denver Nuggets.

Through three quarters, the star of the show was unequivocally Evan Mobley, the Cavs’ sophomore big man, who managed 31 points through the game’s first three frames.

But with Mobley’s career-high 38 points within striking distance, the former USC product suddenly saw less of the ball in the game’s final quarter. After the game, which was a 115-109 loss, head coach JB Bickerstaff called out his two star guards for not getting Mobley the rock down the stretch.

“The ball’s got to find (Mobley) and we have to do the right thing,” Bickerstaff said, per Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “Thought there were opportunities for the ball to find him and it didn’t.”

As Fedor noted, Mobley’s explosive night wasn’t entirely surprising. Denver, who is allowing opposing teams a 71.2% conversion rate at the hoop, is one of the worst paint-defenders in the league.

It’s exactly the type of matchup the Cavaliers should relish, given that the team owns the league’s third-best conversion rate at the rim, per Cleaning the Glass.

Instead, Mobley’s exciting night was one of what could have been rather than what truly was.

Cavs Working to Fill Kevin Love’s Roster Spot

One of the underrated aspects of Love’s departure is that it leaves a roster spot open on the Cavs’ bench.

According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the search for a Love replacement is well underway in Cleveland. While Amico didn’t provide any potential targets, he did provide sources from which Love’s replacement might come.

“League sources expect the Cavs to fill the spot vacated by Love,” Amico wrote on February 20. “It very well could be another big man, which the Cavs were already seeking, sources said.”

Amico pumped the brakes on a big-time signing, however.

“As for who may fill the spot, it’s not likely to be anyone splashy. A source told Hoops Wire the Cavs will consider all possibilities, to unsigned veterans to G League call-ups,” Amico finished.

The Cavaliers could look to two-way bigs in Isaiah Mobley and Mamdi Diakate as potential Love replacements.

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