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Celtics' Stevens expects swift counterpunch from LeBron James

16 May 2018, 08:26 | Anna Jefferson

Celtics trample Cavaliers in Game One, LeBron in misery

Cavaliers notebook: Cavs show signs of 'peaking at the right time,' Celtics coach Brad Stevens says

LeBron James had a rule for Kyrie Irving when he was the Cavaliers' point guard, and George Hill broke it in Game 1 against the Celtics.

Considering they went 4-for-26 from 3-point range in Game 1 against the Celtics, they'll need a repeat performance to tie the series up before returning to Cleveland.

"Three-point shot is a part of our DNA", James said. Boston started Morris in place of Aron Baynes to match up against James.

James finished with 15 points on 31 percent shooting, along with seven turnovers.

Boston's approach, again, was simply along the lines of the Raptors gameplan, but executed better. However, the other issue was that the Cavaliers just didn't adjust to the Celtics' athleticism or exploit the Celtics defense in the way that they should.

However, Marcus Morris from the Celtics does not believe that James had a bad night. Celtics coach Brad Stevens generally rolled Aron Baynes out to start this postseason.

Though they have only made it through game one of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics have shown that they can beat the best player in the world and his team easily.

So if that doesn't highlight just how pivotal Game 2 is for James and the Cavs on Tuesday night, I don't know what else will. While Love led the team with 17 points, he and Korver combined for just seven-of-20 shooting. Terry Rozier led the way with 14 points in the quarter, and he provided two of the loudest points of the game with a monstrous jam that gave Boston a 74-71 lead.




"[Morris] was able to really force the issue in the offensive end and make LeBron exert so much energy because then he has to come down and really guard him", Celtics guard Marcus Smart said.

While James wouldn't have gotten this far without help from his teammates, the Pacers and Raptors didn't have the depth to make his life as hard as the Celtics did in Game 1. We played well with that lineup.

But there has been only one time when James' team has lost a Game 1 by a wider margin than Sunday's 25 points: the 2006 second round at Detroit, when the Cavs were dismantled 113-86.

And James insists just because they fought back against the Pacers does not guarantee they will do so again against the Celtics in Game 2 (2am tip-off United Kingdom time).

The Cleveland Cavaliers may be making a change to their starting lineup. He has averaged 5.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season with the Cavaliers - his seventh in the league. Horford scored 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and added four rebounds, six assists and two blocks in 27 minutes.

"A number of players have been stepping up for them".

He's already considered by many to be the G.O.A.T, so few would be surprised to find out that Lebron James may have a photographic memory.

That is exactly why containing LeBron needs to remain the sole priority of the Boston defense and starting five in Game 2.



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