Published: Mon, May 21, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Cavaliers try to ease LeBron's load and stop Celtics

Cavaliers try to ease LeBron's load and stop Celtics

The Boston Celtics are dominating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals and are now two wins away from reaching the NBA Finals. The Celtics need rhythm on offense and an away environment can't make it more hard to establish and sustain those kind of sporadic runs. "No need to panic".

History also shows that being down 0-2 in a series isn't that big of a hole for the Cavs.

Teammate JR Smith said the Cavs are forcing James to play "hero ball".

"We just have to learn how to - not learn how to, we know how to - we have to be focused on just playing through (mistakes), staying positive".

The Cavs have connected with just 14 of 57 three-point attempts in the first two games. They have been totally outplayed by Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier so far, and that could be deflating. James and the Cavs, who previously did it in 2007 and again in 2016 while winning the National Basketball Association title, took the first step toward a third comeback.

Cleveland shot 48.7 percent (37 of 76) for the game and 50 percent (17 of 34) from 3-point range while outrebounding the visitors 45-34. "LeBron came out and did everything he could". They won the battle on the glass, 94-85, and played their signature tough defense, forcing 24 Cavaliers turnovers.

The Celtics know they have to win on the road to see more success in these playoffs, but until they do that the uncertainty is going to linger. He made 12 straight before a miss, but James, who is seeking his eighth straight Finals, knows he's going to need to be near ideal from here on out. Now Cleveland looks like an old, raggedy bunch who might reach the Finals again thanks only to James and his supernatural abilities.

"I was talking to some of the guys in the training room and I was telling people it was already the Eastern Conference finals", Smith said.

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To the Cavs, this is just another bump in the road.

"We played a Game Seven", Lue said. When they did miss, we didn't box out all the time, and then we turned it over 20 times.

It's a hypocritical comment from Lue, who had a player in Smith nearly committing a crime in Game 2 when the shooting guard pushed an airborne Al Horford during a play in the fourth quarter. They did a good job taking care of their home court. That being said, there are a lot of different things that can go wrong when you are depending heavily on so many different players. It's working for the Celtics this postseason, however. They were 0-3 in Milwaukee and 1-1 in Philadelphia.

It will also be important for Cleveland to have their role players step up and provide enough help for LeBron James offensively.

"We're pretty confident", Brown said.

Lue has been harping on his players to quicken the pace.

The Cavs came in wanting to play faster and be more physical with the younger Celtics, who were the aggressors in Games 1 and 2.

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