Cavs run riot over Celtics in NBA mismatch
The Cleveland Cavaliers have shoved the Boston Celtics into a deep hole in the Eastern Conference finals after running away with a record 130-86 victory in game two.
The Celtics played the second half without Isaiah Thomas, who suffered a strained right hip, but the game was already out of reach. It is unclear when he sustained the injury.
Most stunning was setting the National Basketball Association postseason record for largest halftime lead, stretching it to 41 points with a J.R. Smith basket at the buzzer to take a 72-31 lead. Likewise, the Hawks hardly looked the part of a kingpin, and it showed in the East finals when they were swept by the Cavs, who were without Kyrie Irving for three of those four games.
My God. LeBron James dominated game one.
“I hope not”, he said. Some players do a better job of staying in front of him, like Jaylen Brown, but James is going post whatever numbers he feels like. “They’re going to scrap, we know that”, Lue said of the Celtics.
Watch highlights of the win in the video above. It was a total team effort, however, most of Celtics head coach Brad Stevens’ attention was on one man and that was LeBron James. Since then, he has led the Cavs to a 12-0 postseason record, and in this year’s playoffs, he’s averaging 34.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks, while shooting at least 50 percent from the field in every game. Still, the Cavaliers were empirically the best team in the conference and put forth that caveat by crushing the Celtics in Boston by 114-91 on April 5 in their last meeting of the regular season.
Thomas usually starts on the wing and gets a double staggered screen that allows him to turn the corner and go downhill and attack the basket. Love had the best game of his 2017 playoffs in Game 1, scoring 32 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Cleveland barely raised a sweat on Friday as they took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
“I felt OK last night”, James said Thursday. I’m not sure I can say the same for the Cavs, who could come into this game overconfident and a bit complacent.
If the Celtics have a great night shooting, particularly 3-pointers, they can compete with anybody.
James has now personally won eight consecutive playoff games against the Celtics dating to the 2012 playoffs with the Miami Heat. “We got what we wanted, we just couldn’t capitalize on it”. “We’ll find out what kind of team we ae how we respond”. It’s one game, and we know this team is a very scrappy team. That statistic was erased Friday when the Cavs opened a 72-31 margin after 24 minutes. Boston, which needed six games to beat No. 8 seed Chicago in the first round and the full seven to top No. 4 Washington in the second round, had nothing in the tank for a Cavs team that came into this series with 10 full days of rest.
One of the adjustments that they should make is for Thomas not to think that he can drive against James, it clearly won’t turn into a good situation for Boston.