Kyrie Irving drilled a corner 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left on the shot clock and 45.1 seconds left in regulation Friday night. It was a dagger that put the Cavs ahead by eight and helped Cleveland finish off the Pistons on the way to a 3-0 series lead.

Judging by LeBron James' reaction, you would have thought Irving lifted the Cavs to a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

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James' joy is a welcome sight to the city of Cleveland after a regular season that included firing David Blatt, hiring Tyronn Lue (which was reportedly a compromise between the Cavs and James' camp) and what felt like  daily drama surrounding James on social media .

Cleveland's "Big Three" of James, Irving and Love have scored 20 points each in two out of three games in their first-round series. They only did that twice during the entire regular season, per ESPN Stats and Info , and the Cavs are 11-1 since the start of last season when each member of the trio hits 20. It's not just th

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e numbers that look impressive; it's how the Cavs are doing it.

Love has played some of the best basketball we've seen since he joined the Cavs. He is able to spread the floor when the Pistons put a big man like Andre Drummond on him, and he punishes forwards like Tobias Harris in the post. His shooting percentages might be down from the regular season, but he appears to be more comfortable and aggressive within the offense. He also rendered double teams useless in Game 3 by kicking out to teammates at the perfect time.

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Irving has been hot the entire series, averaging 26.3 points per game and shooting 52.1 percent (12 of 23) from beyond the 3-point line. He isn't going super crazy with the Harlem Globetrotter dribbling isolations (though it does flare up occasionally), instead taking the open shots the defense gives him.

"I’m not going to ever stop shooting or being who I am," Irving said after Game 3, via USA Today . "These guys want me to shoot, especially if they’re going under my pick-and-rolls. It’s just continuing to prepare, prepare, prepare and trust my shot, and the regular season didn’t really matter. It’s this season that matters. I just want to continue to try to feed off these guys, and when they pass me the ball, be ready to shoot."

LeBron has done plenty of LeBron things. He's orchestrating for others, ripping down rebounds, turning up his defense to playoff intensity and, maybe most importantly, letting Love and Irving share some of the load.

It's hard to say anything bad about averages of 23 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7 assists through three playoff games, but one glaring flaw has emerged in LeBron's game. He has been unable to consistently make outside shots.

James is 19 of 25 (76 percent) from the restricted area in the first round. He is 10 of 34 (29.4 percent) from anywhere else on the floor, including 3 of 13 (23 percent) from 3-point range, per NBA.com . 

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has clearly told his team to give up outside shots rather than get beat to the basket by James. On the last possession of the first half of Game 3, Marcus Morris was going under a screen all the way, and Aron Baynes had no plans to leave the paint. James stepped into a jump shot with confidence. Beating the buzzer made it an easy choice.

This was one of the few times when James looked comfortable shooting outside the paint. Sporting News' Scott Rafferty examined how James had essentially  given up 3-pointers for all-out assaults on the rim during the regular season, and not much has changed during the playoffs.

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On this play in the fourth quarter, James turns what would be a pick-and-pop play for someone like Love into a layup with a smart cut. Instead of sticking at the top of the key and waiting for a pass from Matthew Dellavedova, James recognizes Stanley Johnson has lost sight of him and dives straight to the basket.

Given James' immense talents and basketball IQ, he will always impact the game in other ways. He will make a great cut. He will hit Love with a perfect pass. He will shoot the gap for a steal and throw down a hammer dunk to get the crowd on its feet.

But at what point does his unwillingness and inability to take and make outside shots hurt the Cavs? In the second round potentially against a stingy Hawks defense? In the NBA Finals against the Warriors or Spurs? Teams that good with coaches that smart pick at your weaknesses until there's nothing left. We've seen Gregg Popovich do it against James in the past.

The progress of Irving and Love is a step in the right direction. The Cavs look more like a group of guys that actually enjoys playing basketball together, and that hasn't always been the case. All you need to do is take another look at that huge 3-pointer.

"This is a growing night for our team," James told ESPN.com . "The fact that I didn't play particularly well offensively, as far as shooting the ball, and I was able to take a step backwards and rely on Kyrie and Kevin to pick us up offensively."

LeBron is looking for his fourth consecutive first-round sweep, and the Cavs are likely to do it Sunday. But they are supposed to advance. This team has championship aspirations.

If the Cavs want to keep growing and celebrating, they will need Irving and Love to continue playing at a high level. At some point, they will also need their top player to force opposing defenses to respect his shot.