Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Boston Celtics: Game 1 win proved team is a contender

Boston Celtics: Game 1 win proved team is a contender

In fact, according to past history, LeBron James' teams are not good at all playing Game 1 on the the tune of 2-11 after Sunday afternoon's 108-83 debacle against the Celtics.

Boston Celtics' power forward Marcus Morris - who Celtics head coach Brad Stevens brought over for the moment he finds himself in now - guarding Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James - backed up his talk about being the best "LeBron-stopper" this side of Kawhi Leonard.

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.

But the likes of Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier have helped the Celtics move just three wins away from reaching the NBA Finals. The Cavs won Game 2 85-75 (hey, it was a different National Basketball Association back then.) James had 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and shot 12-of-21.

The Celtics seized the lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference finals, with the victor to face either season wins leader Houston or defending champion Golden State in the NBA Finals. Al Horford's domination of Love set the tone of Game 1. "He was my matchup and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was and all of my teammates was". Relighting the spark in Boston, with eight points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes during Game 1, Thompson appears on the rise again. The Celtics, holding a protected Lakers pick that will become theirs in the unlikely event the selection lands at No. 2 or 3, have a 2.9 percent chance of that result. The Celtics led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled James for good with 7:09 left.

"We just have to make it hard for him", Stevens, who also praised Marcus Morris after he was promoted to the Celtics' starting line-up for the first time this post-season with specific instructions to shadow James, said. The Celtics jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter and held it through to the final buzzer.

Kevin Love led Cleveland with 17 points and 8 rebounds. "We try to do it with as many bodies as possible, and then we've got to guard the other guys".

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Through 7 games against the Indiana Pacers and four against the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James averaged 34.2 points on 55.3 percent shooting from the field with nine assists per game. They lost Game 2 97-91 despite 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists from James and lost the series in seven.

"It's definitely something we have to weigh", Lue said. They haven't been favored in any playoff series they've been in this year.

Well, historically, James, after a bad game, comes back with a big bang in the next.

On the contrary, the Celtics were winners of five of their last six games heading into Game 1. They are also 2-12 ATS following a game where they scored 85 or less.

"We've got to help 'Bron", he said.

Per the ESPN report, Lue thought about putting Thompson in at center to start Game 1, however he made a decision to stick to the lineup that led them to an easy 4-0 sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals. If the past is any indication, LeBron is about to bounce back in a big way in game 2.

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