It was how either team could expect to mount a serious challenge to the awaiting, rampaging, well-rested Cavaliers.
On a night when the Celtics received less than stellar play from their two main stars – Isaiah Thomas (17 points) and Al Horford (11 points), the roleplayers stepped up to at least make the score look less embarrassing than the actual game itself. He tried to go one-on-one with LeBron and it didn’t go well for him.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to TD Garden for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Isaiah Thomas throwing himself into LeBron’s crotch in vain is a neat encapsulation of the Celtics’ night on defense. They outscored the Cavaliers in both the third and fourth quarters.
“They ain’t (giving) us a chance in this series”, Thomas said Monday.
The win was the Cavaliers’ 12th in a row in the playoffs (one shy of matching the National Basketball Association record, set by the 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers), dating back to last year’s finals. “Everybody was moving the ball, passing the ball well”.
“With LeBron playing at this level, other guys just have to be solid and contribute”, Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said. “We understand that, and we really didn’t have to say much after the game”. The Cavs immediately went into “tank” mode, resting players and losing their last four games while the Celtics won their last three and clinched the conference’s top spot.
The Celtics’ reserves scored 48 points to only five for the Wizards’ bench, with Kelly Olynyk doing the majority of the damage.
“It’s tough. We came out here Game 7 and gave everything we had”.
The Celtics had better depth. “We did a lot to push it to seven games against that team”. Cleveland won the other games by a combined 35 points, including a 114-91 romp on April 5. He’s younger. But he plays hard. He tallied 11 points in less than 14 minutes of action while hitting four of his six shots.
Stevens channeled Bill Belichick and advised his players to “do your job”.
“I’m hurting but it’s the playoffs, so there’s no excuses”, he said, adding it’s “My whole body” that hurts. Despite winning last season, Lue probably can’t wait to figure out what to do with Love against this Golden State team. The two had never been mistaken for rivals before, had not met in the playoffs since 1984, and yet there was certifiable bad blood between them. Wall has his backcourt helper Bradley Beal as well as big men such as Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat. “We can’t allow a team of their caliber to build a lead like that in the first quarter”. Washington had a six-point advantage in the third. When the Celtics make those open 3-pointers, they win.
The Cavs know for what they’re preparing.
Beantown continued to struggle in the second stanza of the game and went 1-of-8 from downtown once more.
Finally, while a traditional NBA League Pass package is no longer available for purchase, there is NBA League Pass Audio. Love has averaged a quiet 13.8 points in the postseason but should be eager to pick it up against a Celtics team that knocked him out of the 2015 playoffs when he became tangled with Olynyk and dislocated his shoulder. “Stevens said. “.I think we’ll have to adjust a little bit. It also marked the latest big performance by Thomas, in a playoff run that began in the haze of his younger sister’s death in a auto accident. Still have not reached a conference final since 1979.