I am not going to be the guy to doubt that he can rear back and throw a haymaker at the Celtics on Tuesday night, the way he did in Game 2 against the Pacers a few weeks ago or Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.
Al Horford finished with 20 points and six assists and Jayson Tatum scored 16 for the undermanned Celtics, who reached the East finals without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Center Al Horford dropped 20 points in the win, starting a ideal 7-of-7 from the field, and finished with six assists, four rebounds and two blocks.
But it was enough for Boston to bamboozle Cleveland in a 108-83 victory that equaled their four-game clash this season at 2-2.
LeBron James, however, believes there's still no cause for concern, regardless of the impressive nature with which Boston bludgeoned Cleveland into submission. Having depth like this gives the Boston Celtics a traditional edge. The Celtics need to anticipate James will be back to the best player on the court, but if Morris can be as serviceable as he was in this one, the Celtics will be in a good position. Of course, with James going just 3-10 against the Celtics other defenders, including Jaylen Brown and throwing away the ball eight more times, it was more than just Morris. The Celtics jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter and held it through to the final buzzer. That season he averaged 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Though he was only marginally better (21 points, seven turnovers, 6-for-24) on the second night in 2008, he was relatively young at the time.
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He's probably ready to explode after that lackluster showing, especially since he remembers just about every play thanks to his awe-inspiring postgame recollection (besides one of his team-high seven turnovers, which he conveniently left out of his play-by-play with reporters). We had a really tough loss; he came out and played really well and started that game off extremely well.
To be fair to Morris, we all should know Lebron James is one of the greatest basketball players ever, whether you like him or not. Two of those three instances happened against the Boston Celtics. If he keeps up his two-way punch, the Celtics would be well on their way to gaining a 2-0 series lead and putting the pressure on the Cavs. After Game 1, many people feel this series is theirs to lose. "He's going to approach this game as one he's going to have to lead and bounce back".
It looks like Cleveland will make their big lineup change by inserting Tristan Thompson into the starting lineup in Game 2, but we should listen to Stevens: the biggest adjustments for Cleveland will come from No. 23. The former UCLA standout did not mince words when giving his assessment, referring to Cleveland's defensive effort as "soft".
James has spoken in the past about his ability to "play a lot of plays" in his head, admitting that sometimes it can actually get in the way of a great game.
Boston never trailed in the contest and didn't allow Cleveland to get within single digits once they went up by double figures. "That's what part of the playoff series is about", James said. "We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can".