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16 May 2018, 08:49 | Sandy Nunez
Celtics open series with authority, rout Cavs
The Celtics are looking to build off their blowout win on Sunday and shove the Cleveland Cavaliers into a 2-0 series hole on Tuesday night.
There have been times (against the Warriors and Spurs in the Finals, for example) when dropping Game 1 of a series has proved to be less of a "feel-out game" and more like "the other team was just better".
The Pacers stunned the Cavs at home in their first-round opener, rolling to an 18-point victory.
Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love (0) reacts with frustration during the third quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston. However, King James is not too concerned about his poor showing in Game 1 or the fact that the Cavs are now 1-0 down. He has no weakness on either end of the floor, and his defense was the primary reason why Love shot a subpar 5-of-14 from the field in Game 1.
"So that's a good thing to know", Lue said. Morris probably won't light it up like that again but the Cavs don't have any defensive stoppers outside of James and no rim protection, so the Celtics should feast each night.
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.
KevinLove has the ability to do much better than his 17 point, 8 rebound showing in Game 1, as he demonstrated in the last 3 games of the Semifinals against the Raptors. The defense was just as good as it has been all year, if not better.
"There's no level of concern no matter how bad I played with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was shooting the ball (5 for 16)", he said.
But this time, you didn't see him the way you wanted him to play.
Given up for dead after losing Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to season-ending injuries, the Celtics continue to exceed expectations, resuscitating the season the same efficient way they recycle possessions.
LeBron was pretty bad in Game 1 and was sulking on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.
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. "And we're going to take those same looks going into Game 2 if the opportunity presents itself". The payoff didn't end there though, because even when Boston missed shots, frequently the Cavs attack wasn't able to get going immediately, because they found themselves needing to regroup instead of getting out on the fast break due to the nature of the Boston offense.
"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.
LeBron's recovery - It isn't often that James is restricted to a game like he had on Monday, and it's unlikely that he'll play as poorly as that for the rest of the series.
This marked the 15th time in James' illustrious career that his team has dropped the first game of a postseason series. We've got to clean those up.
Dan Feldman of NBC Sports put together a video comparing LeBron's recollection to the actual plays in the game.
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