Boston Celtics bench players cheer as forward Al Horford (42) and guard Marcus Smart (36) head upcourt during the second quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston.
Losing in Game 1 is nothing unusual for James.
Then there was the Al Horford signing in 2016, which came after - you guessed it - James and the Cavs swept Horford's Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. "Obviously when I check in the game, I'll try to bring that toughness and that energy". Still, Stevens says his team has to be better.
The first reason why James would be able to help the 76ers immensely is that of his experience. We've got to be more decisive.
It's hard to imagine the Celtics, who built a 28-point lead at one point, playing any better than they did on Sunday.
The Cavs won't shoot that poorly and the Celtics probably won't shoot so well (51.2 percent in Game 1) but that will only close the gap a little bit. They used a big run in the first quarter and remained pretty steady for the remainder of the game.
LeBron James has eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs four times, and the first loss doesn't seem to worry him.
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LeBron rarely has bad games back-to-back though, particularly in the playoffs, and he will come out breathing fire in Game 2. They lost Game 2 97-91 despite 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists from James and lost the series in seven. Relighting the spark in Boston, with eight points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes during Game 1, Thompson appears on the rise again. The Heat won Game 7 by a final score of 101-88, effectively ending the "Big Three" era. To Lue's credit, spacing is vital to the team's offensive attack with James running the show. Absent of that and good games from at least Love and one other player and the Cavs are going to be down 0-2.
Many thought Boston wouldn't make it this far in the playoffs since two of their best players - Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward - are watching these playoffs in street clothes. "It's another great challenge, another great opportunity to experience something for this team". "We can't just expect him to do everything".
The Celtics have taken 2-0 leads in both of their previous series and, even though they needed seven games to dispose of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, they can rely on the franchise being 37-0 all time when taking a 2-0 lead in a series.
Tyronn Lue sounded Monday like a man committed to starting Tristan Thompson.
Who are you taking tonight? He has averaged 5.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season with the Cavaliers - his seventh in the league.
Thompson in the starting lineup may have Brad Stevens reconsider starting Morris, instead opting to have Aron Baynes back in the starting five.