The Celtics Have Dominated the Cavs With Depth And Relentlessness

The Celtics Have Dominated the Cavs With Depth And Relentlessness

Bad habits are hard to break. Those doubts have been answered with the way the Cavaliers have played in the first half of Game 2.

The Cavaliers are tipped to promote veteran big man Tristan Thompson to their starting line-up, after Baynes, Al Horford and Marcus Morris physically dominated in Game One. This yielded dividends throughout the season, but during the playoffs they again embraced that slower offense.

The end result of that game, regardless of how the series between the Cavaliers and the Celtics ends, is that it's not as much an indictment of the Raptors gameplan against LeBron, although Toronto certainly did have their rotation issues, as it's an indictment of the Raptors' execution. Even then though, King James will surely get his numbers. He also hit three of his eight threes en route to 23 points.

The third quarter was Cleveland's nemesis, often lamenting a lack of effort to start the second half and never being able to find a solution no matter how many adjustments they made or how many timeouts Lue called to try to stop the avalanche. Cleveland still has the ultimate trump card in James, and-as you'll hear a thousand times before Saturday-a playoff series doesn't start until a home team loses. Maybe, just maybe, the answer was there all along.

THE BOSTON CELTICS defended their home court and took a commanding lead after topping the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-94 in game two of the Eastern Conference finals. Cleveland's starters scored 46 points, shooting 33 percent from the field and going just 3 of 19 from beyond the arc. Those shots falling, the Cavaliers were brimming with confidence. "Just looking at the tape, especially in that first quarter, we got a lot of good looks that we liked, open shots we just didn't make". But if the Celtics can keep getting a body on their quality shooters, and give their questionable ones free space to keep launching bricks, maybe those struggles from downtown will continue for the Cavaliers.

It's time for the Cavaliers to make some adjustments

Boston pushed their lead to double-digits early in the fourth quarter. Thompson has succeeded against Al Horford in the past. "That 12 minutes in the third quarter, that killed us". That added up to an offensive rating of just 91. "We didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point". We were s-- defensively.

Morris is celarly going to be a vital player on both ends in this series, and he could not have done a better job in game one. Horford recorded 15 points and 10 boards.

The rotations were nonexistent and the closeouts weren't remotely energetic enough on this particular stage.

Only this time, instead of responding like the team that crows about their ability to thrive in the face of adversity, they fragmented. Rodney Hood scored two points in 11 minutes and was a minus-7. Putting Love in a position to succeed will be a big part of that. As expected, Hulk LeBron came through with another dominant performance following a loss as he tallied 45 points on 16-25 shooting (64.0%), 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals to lead Cleveland to a 105-101 win and another series victory - keeping his unbeaten streak alive in the first round of the playoffs (13-0).

It's a bit ironic LeBron James must set out to destroy the Celtics if he wants to reach the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive season - after all, in many ways, he helped create them.


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