Commentary

What Cavs must do to survive

PER Diem: May 13, 2010

Updated: May 13, 2010, 12:53 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
Anderson Varejao and LeBron JamesNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesLeBron James could use a helping hand from Anderson Varejao and the Cavs' role players in Game 6.

So the Cavs are fighting for their playoff lives, and all eyes are on LeBron James to see how he'll respond in the wake of his shocking apathy in Game 5.

But all the focus on LeBron has distracted us from the fact the rest of the Cavs didn't exactly light it up, either. Having LeBron play like his MVP self isn't a panacea for Game 6 -- it's a minimum requirement. Roster spots two through 12 also need to play better for Cleveland to prevail, and the coaching staff can help with a few rotation tweaks.

To start with, there's the defense. Regardless of how well or how poorly James shot the ball, the Cavs' defensive play was so subpar that they wouldn't have won anyway: Cleveland surrendered 120 points, including a whopping 70 in the second half.