Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said they need to be more physical and referred to the Boston players as goons. Many years ago inside a Flower Mound, Texas, high school gymnasium, they watched the kid collect floor burns like loose change and play an unselfish brand that converted a football-crazed community into Smart disciples. "(Expletive) we're doing what it takes.
James did his best Tuesday in Game 2, notching 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Cavs team-mate Kevin Love added 22 points and 15 boards.
Boston took a 2-0 series lead on the Bucks in the first round before dropping back-to-back games in Milwaukee.
Down 0-2, the Cavaliers face historical odds.
James has a preternatural ability to see the game, to think two moves ahead.
The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain. It's that they have four hard-charging, game-changing players between the ages of 20 and 24 in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. "Most of the dudes that are going up against you are undersized and can not hang with you".
"I'm more than surprised", Pierce said of the matter.
While James is trying to run a marathon, the Celtics are treating their offense like a 4 x 100 relay. But it was one of his only miscues in the first quarter. It shouldn't be surprising to see the Celtics trusting each other more. While starting throughout the postseason in their first trip to the NBA Finals, he averaged 9.1 points a game. However, he has exacerbated his predicament with dubious decisions.
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In Tuesday's Game 2, it was quintessential Smart, as his handprints were all over Boston's rally from a double-digit first-half deficit, and then salted away the win late. The Celtics turned it over just six times.
No, the Celtics aren't doing anything dirty like J.R. Smith's risky, two-handed shove of an airborne Al Horford.
Smith has repeatedly sabotaged Cleveland's defense with halfhearted switches and lethargic closeouts. So with that, it's apparently time to start playing the "what if" game. Those Celtics are in single-minded pursuit of what the Cavs have been for four seasons.The Cavs?
While acquiring a franchise point guard is obviously part of Boston's long-term plan as well, Ainge's more immediate concern was about finding a way to beat the Cavaliers this season.
Thompson lamented the lack of communication and the abundance of open shots the Celtics generated.
"We've got to come out swinging", Lue said. "They are a very well-coached team", said Thompson. But if the Irving and LeBron James duo appeared to be broken, there is a defense in there, a defense of the desire to sustain a version of these Cavs at all costs.What you are jealous of in Boston right now isn't that they have Irving.
The Celtics obviously weren't going to trade Brown and Tatum for Irving, but the Cavs never should have done the deal without one of them being sent to Cleveland. The LeBrons' best hope might be a change of locale. The one win was a confetti-filled collapse by the Philadelphia 76ers. Even with the Celtics issues SU on the road, you're still talking about a Boston team that's covered 11 of its last 16 games as an underdog.