Now is not the time to think ahead to the draft, now is the time to stand by the Boston Celtics and show the rest of the National Basketball Association why Boston has the greatest fans in the league. James scored 25 in a ideal first half, and the Celtics made just enough shots to force him to continue mauling them on both ends of the floor in the second. As a Cleveland sports fan, that game was about as much as you could have wanted.
The Cavaliers now take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Most of the damage in Game 1 was done by two players - James and Love. That was something a good second half may have been enough to overcome against the Wizards or the Bulls if they started making mistakes.
No matter what the Celtics tried against LeBron James, center, in. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson had career-best playoff performances. They finished the game at 48.1 percent. "But I should be much better (Friday)". After a second-round sweep of the Raptors, he earned his ten days' worth, but suddenly decided he didn't need any more as he chose to play the entire game against the Celtics, staying off the floor for just seven minutes. The Celtics gave games away because they felt their inconsistent shooting to throw them completely off their game. Golden State is off to a 10-0 start in the Western Conference, the Warriors two games from their third consecutive NBA Finals and a possible third consecutive meeting with the Cavaliers there.
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Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is a realist. If he plays the way he did last night, the Celtics are in huge trouble.
In short, James has been playing big games in Boston for a long time. No amount of ball movement and no amount of back cuts are going to save the Celtics on their own. Thomas was terrible in the opener, going 7-for-19 with 17 points and four turnovers.
LeBron had 38-9-7, the Cavaliers opened a fat lead early, and won 117-104. It was laughable. He had some of the easiest hoops of the game. At a certain point, though, the Celtics will have to commit to either helping or not. The offense was running well for the majority of the game, but no one was able to hit their shots until the game was out of reach.
Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points apiece, while Isaiah Thomas, hounded all night, had 17 points and 10 assists. Against the Cavaliers it will have to be everyone.
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LeBron was LeBron, and Kevin Love played out of his mind, scoring 32 points while grabbing 12 boards.
"I think their energy level was by far higher than ours to start the game", Crowder added. The only thing they need to do now is to stop LeBron. "They play their traditional way".
The Celtics had to come out swinging against the defending champs but they had no answer for LeBron who absolutely toyed with them for the entire game. That's what makes it really hard.
The Celtics did not play anywhere near their capabilities in game one, and the Cavaliers will not be flawless all the time. They were careless with passing and slower to the ball than the Cavaliers.
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At one point in the third quarter, the Cavs were 28 of 45 from the floor. "Coming out the next game there's got to be more attention to detail, make sure that we're contesting every single shot". At times, that meant blowing past a big man on a switch; other times, it meant bullying a smaller defender in the paint.