The Boston Celtics will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 2 of their Eastern Conference Final playoff series on Tuesday night in Boston.
The Celtics beat the Cavaliers 107-94 in Game 2, surviving a 42-point night from LeBron James.
“I think in the first half we were a little soft”, Love said on Monday.
Equally impressed was Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green, who has faced off against James three times in the last three years in the NBA Finals. James finished with only 15 points while also committing a game high 7 turnovers.
Despite injuries and his diminished role this season with Love starting at center, Thompson, 27, still has postseason averages of 7.8 points and 8.8 rebounds.
There have been times (against the Warriors and Spurs in the Finals, for example) when dropping Game 1 of a series has proved to be less of a “feel-out game” and more like “the other team was just better”. Another player that had a huge game was Marcus Morris. Celtics coach Brad Stevens generally rolled Aron Baynes out to start this postseason. While this was going on Marcus Morris stated before the opening game of the series that after Kaiwi Lenoard, he, Morris was the second best defender of Lebron in the league and he was the one that had the most minutes guarding LeBron’s 36 minutes of action and Morris’s 34 minutes of play. “We look to try to get off to a good start”.
Kevin Love (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) led the Cavs in scoring, yet the rhythm Cleveland had shown with him and James on the court together in the playoffs went missing Sunday. They dominated each of the first two quarters to lead 61-35 at the main break, and despite a third quarter fightback from the Cavs, the Celtics were able to run out comfortable 108-83 winners. Due to the fact that it was such a young team, many people thought to use this as an experience for the younger players and come back next year healthy and motivated. We played well with that lineup.
Double-teamed and hammered with countless switches that often left LeBron faced with someone new, James connected on just five of his 16 field goal attempts, and was reduced to folded arms and watching a garbage time fourth quarter from the Cleveland bench.
The Celtics, who keep handling every situation thrown at them regardless of who might be available to play, know what they are likely to be up against in Game 2.
In order to do that, they need to take out LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
The end result of that game, regardless of how the series between the Cavaliers and the Celtics ends, is that it’s not as much an indictment of the Raptors gameplan against LeBron, although Toronto certainly did have their rotation issues, as it’s an indictment of the Raptors’ execution. They’ll surely play better in Game 2 but will that be enough?
Cavaliers big men were outscored 60-38 Sunday – leaving many to question head coach Tyronn Lue’s decision to leave Tristan Thompson out of the starting lineup.