LeBron James is not anxious despite the Cleveland Cavaliers' 108-83 hammering yesterday morning (Singapore time) by the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals. This is somewhat understandable given that the Raptors had now lost 10-straight games to the Cavaliers in the playoffs, and the consolation after those series typically was that this was LeBron James, and he simply does not lose in the Eastern Conference, which he's dominated for more than a decade.
As Love mentioned, just this postseason, the Cavs dropped Game 1 in the first round at in, with James putting up 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on 7-of-17 shooting in a 98-80 defeat.
Baynes, the 31-year-old Queenslander, has been using the experience he gleaned from being part of the 2014 San Antonio Spurs' championship-winning team to help guide an injury-ravaged Celtics squad relying on the talented but inexperienced Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.
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.
Hartstein has a surprising take on Game 2. Not only did he manage to curb the influence of LeBron, but he was actually the better player out of the two. Defense is always a collective effort for the Celtics, but Morris outscored and out rebounded James as his primary defender, and that might be the most impressive performance of these playoffs.
J.R. Smith's buzzer-beating jumper had the Cavaliers within 78-64 after three quarters, but a Tatum finger roll put the Boston lead over 20 at 85-64 with 10:52 remaining.
"I've been down before in the postseason, but for me there's never any level of concern - no matter how bad I played tonight, with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was shooting the ball", he said. "This is its own game, we have to really come out with that edge that we've been playing with".
The Celtics forced James to work harder defensively and rotated several players on the 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player to contain him offensively. Monday's game was just the third time in these playoffs where he has failed to pass 25 points, and his responses to the previous two occasions make for scary reading for Boston fans.
After the game, the internet went insane once again. the masses came out with creative memes before the game practically making fun of Morris for suggesting such a thing.
With that being said, Horford poses the worst possible matchup for Love at center - which is exactly how it looked Game 1.
Is it over? No. 1-0 is a nice start for the Celtics, but this is LeBron James in the playoffs we're talking about.
Personally, I think I'm probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi (Leonard).
This marked the 15th time in James' illustrious career that his team has dropped the first game of a postseason series.
As expected, Tristan Thompson started in place of Kyle Korver in the hopes his presence could energize what was a sluggish Cavs offense in Game 1. "Obviously, when I check in the game, I try to bring that toughness and energy, but our starters have got to be ready to throw the first punch". In Game 2, James was all but unstoppable as he replied with a 46-point, 12-rebound performance. We've got to clean those up. Morris won the Big 12 Player of the Year award in his junior and final year at Kansas.
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