LeBron James Needs To Fire Against The Celtics In Game 2

Celtics open East finals by ripping Cavaliers

LeBron James has played brilliantly throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs thus far, and is without a doubt the biggest reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers have advanced to the conference finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now playing for the right to make their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, but in all likelihood, the looming free agency of their resident superstar LeBron James is on their minds as well.

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. He scored 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter, tying his playoff career high for points in a period.

As many have noted following the game, has a history of playing Game 1s like the first round of a boxing match. As a team, the Cavs shot 4-of-26 from deep and finished with a putrid 86.6 defensive rating. Thompson has given the Celtics fits in the past, especially Al Horford, and provides some protection for Kevin Love, whom Horford took to school on Sunday. Game 2's going to be very important. Bet the Boston Celtics -1.0 over the Cavaliers in game 2. "Our guys played with good aggression".

Marcus Morris didn't defend James the entire game, but when he did, he actually backed up his quote.

Trailing 61-52 after a basket by Love, the Celtics scored seven straight points to make it 61-59, then used a 15-7 spurt to take 74-71 lead, their first of the second half. After 24 points against IN in Game 1, he bounced back with 46 points on 17-for-24 shooting, and after 22 points IN Game 6 of the same series he came out and scored 45 points to accompany eight boards, seven assists and four steals IN the series decider.

"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. He has started just 22 times this year. "He's the guy we really, really lean on".

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics outshot the Cleveland Cavaliers all game long.

Morris backed up every every bit of talk from before the game, and now it is James that has to figure out how to get around this defense.

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) reaches to slap hands with forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston. They lost Game 2 97-91 despite 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists from James and lost the series in seven. They haven't been favored in any playoff series they've been in this year.

"Yeah, he's definitely shown that he's not the same player game-to-game in terms of (how) he always steps it up", Aron Baynes, a member of the Spurs team that beat James' Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals, said after yesterday's practice. We fed off the crowd and we kept it going throughout the game.

There are small adjustments to be made, but the Cavaliers also have the option of breaking out a line-up change that could rob Boston of some of their switchability.

This postseason, 39.0 percent of James' shots have come within 0-3 feet of the rim but in Game 1, James only managed to take 2 out of his 16 field goal attempts (12.5 percent) inside the restricted area. We weren't able to get there. "We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can".

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