LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers got absolutely rocked by the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but after the game, James expressed confidence in his team's ability to adjust and come back.
In the end, James still had an incredible overall showing, going for 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for a triple-double. No doubt this will be a significantly closer game, but the Celtics deserve to be favorites, and if they win will likely do it by more than a solitary point. As a team, the Cavs shot 4-of-26 from deep and finished with a putrid 86.6 defensive rating. "I'll be able to tell my kids this one day", Morris told reporters including Washburn after the game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers rarely saw LeBron James score inside the restricted area in Game 1.
The Celtics looked really comfortable and confident in Game 1, and it's hard to figure what will change.
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. The Celtics jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter and held it through to the final buzzer. Like that's the thing, like (Kevin) Love, and (Kyle) Korver and (J.R.) Smith, (Tristan) Thompson's rebounds and everything else.
Though his teammates struggled in the opening round, he averaged 34.4 points (on a true shooting percentage of 65.5), 10.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 block per game against the Indiana Pacers.
James then went on to explain how the Cavs came back down the court but player Jordan Clarkson missed his shot.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens called Thompson "a tough player to guard", and "a great fit for that team".
Right now, James is still focused on helping the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals, but in a few months, he will be pondering where he wants to play next season. In fact, most people didn't think that the Celtics would make it this far, but they continue to surprise people.
Cleveland's shooter-centric lineup failed them in Game 1, so they're going big in Game 2. They are also 2-12 ATS following a game where they scored 85 or less.
This marked the 15th time in James' illustrious career that his team has dropped the first game of a postseason series.
Even if James does have a big Game 2 Tuesday night in Boston, he'll need some help and the Cavaliers know it. "As role players, we've got to play our role".
The Cavs, to man, noted that they will have to play better in all aspects of the game, but the concern was their offense. "We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can".