Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue contemplating starting Tristan Thompson for Game 2

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue contemplating starting Tristan Thompson for Game 2

Although his team is now trailing the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, one game to nil, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James still has a chance to set a rather impressive record. Numerous issues that plagued the Cavaliers in their opening round win over the Indiana Pacers cropped up as the young Celtics really challenged them. 'We'll be watching tape from when we played Houston in December or something, and guys will go "Yeah, I remember that this is what happened next"'. The Celtics blew out the Cavaliers in game 1, 108-83, to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Cleveland Cavaliers rarely saw LeBron James score inside the restricted area in Game 1. "I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness".

Surely, one game won't define a series as protracted as a best-of-seven.

The Celtics need to maintain the confidence they have been mounting, build on their camaraderie, and draw on the will to win they have shown all season. Boston is 8-0 at home in the 2018 postseason. After all, there's no Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward, with valuable rookie bench center Daniel Theis also gone. They've been playing extremely well throughout these playoffs.

"It's definitely something we have to weigh", Lue said. Expect him to be particularly aggressive in the opening quarter, looking to attack both Morris and the rim at any opportunity. Whether it was giving up favorable switches to the offense too quickly or sometimes completely unforced or simply losing track of a player for long enough for the shot to get off, these things were happening frequently enough that the Raptors defense was often scrambling to find a new adjustment to take away whichever player was hot in that game. After 24 points against IN in Game 1, he bounced back with 46 points on 17-for-24 shooting, and after 22 points IN Game 6 of the same series he came out and scored 45 points to accompany eight boards, seven assists and four steals IN the series decider. The move delivered great momentum to the Celtics with Morris scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds, despite early foul trouble, while chiefly holding LeBron James to 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting with seven turnovers.

The Cavs missed their first 14 3-pointers and finished 4 of 26 from behind the arc.

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That in turn kept James from creating shots for his teammates. In game one the Celtics took their depleted roster, and made sure James was not close to the best player on the court.

"We were great", Horford said after the Celtics shot 51.2 per cent from the floor and went 11-for-30 from three. We're absolutely OK with that.

The Celtics made it clear that toppling James is not going to be about any individuals stepping their game up to match his best, because no one else has that kind of peak. They missed their shots, lost their men on defense and allowed a whopping 60 points in the paint.

James will need to fix his performance, along with Kevin Love, to compete stronger against Boston in this series. "I think that's an obvious question".

"We just have to make it hard for him", Stevens, who also praised Marcus Morris after he was promoted to the Celtics' starting line-up for the first time this post-season with specific instructions to shadow James, said. Monday's game was just the third time in these playoffs where he has failed to pass 25 points, and his responses to the previous two occasions make for scary reading for Boston fans.

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