Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Marcus Morris Agrees That LeBron Carrying Cavs Has Taken Its Toll

Marcus Morris Agrees That LeBron Carrying Cavs Has Taken Its Toll

LeBron James is in the midst of a truly special postseason, but it feels like he either checked out, or the Celtics got to him in this one. James scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists, but he didn't dominate the game as he normally does.

Down three games to two, with a must-win Game 6 set for 8:30 p.m.

It is also clear that the Cavaliers need James to get the secondary players going. While James downplayed possible fatigue, at least one Celtics player seemed to acknowledge that James wasn't his typical self. I know he'll be great tomorrow, and then after that we'll see.

"No flow", Korver said of his team's Game 5 performance. "But there's no question in my mind he'll bounce back tomorrow".

The Celtics improved to 10-0 at home this post-season, and Tatum said there's no reason they can't wrap up the series on Friday, even though so far the home team has won every game in the series. The Western Conference rivals are locked at 2-2 in their series. Recently, LeBron James effectively blessed Tatum in praising the youngster's composure and talent and, in advance of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum received an incredible compliment from Celtics legend Paul Pierce. "No concerns. You've got to be ready to play now".

"When we start our game on the defensive end", Baynes said, "that's when we look good, and that's when we go out there and do what we want". If we continue to play defense the way we've been playing, I do love our chances. "Because we were going to play those guys a lot of minutes tonight". The Celtics played bad shooting just 36.5% from the field. The Celtics were near-perfect at the foul line, and had just eight turnovers to the Cavs' 15.

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When the Cavs did get quality looks - often from James, whose usage percentage ballooned to 37.8 - the unpredictable role players couldn't capitalize. The four-time MVP turned the ball over six times in Game 5, and he is averaging 5.8 turnovers per game in the series, well above his career average.

"We just gave him different looks", Smart said of the game plan versus James. "At the end of the day, s-t, I'm exhausted, everybody else is exhausted". They knew the game would be the biggest inside TD Garden since Game 6 of the same round in 2012 - and that James had essentially maimed the Big Three that night.

With 10:47 left in the second quarter and the Celtics up 17 points, Boston forward Marcus Morris and Cleveland's Larry Nance tangled, with Nance sent sprawling to the floor. George Hill is 4-of-13 in Boston.

After Game 5, much of the discussion centered around how James appeared lethargic with many openly wondering if the toll of 15 seasons (most extended by deep playoff runs) was showing on him. Oh...

James, by the way, denies he's running on fumes.

"We've got to be focused, composed and play with a lot of poise and we'll be fine", he said, clearly up for the challenge. "And I didn't mention the fatigue, either".

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