Jaylen Brown and the boys are looking to shush LeBron James and take a commanding 2-0 lead in Game 2 tonight. After coming out of the gates strapped to a rocket in Game 1 the Celtics were able to cruise past Cleveland, who simply did not show up to play. The Cavs were ice cold from the field and an abysmal 15% from the 3 point line so I would expect water to find its level there, especially since the Celtics shot 51% for the game.
As we said here before Game 1 though, the Celtics match up with Cleveland extremely well and despite all their injuries Boston is just a deeper team. They have more players that are a threat to put up 20 points than the Cavs and that causes defensive nightmares for a team that flirts with Kevin Love at center. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and Al Horford are all a threat to score off the dribble or from 3. The Cavs are more one dimensional, which is why they have been relying on LeBron to score 30+ every night.
Tyronn Lue hinted that his team may make some adjustments to the starting lineup for Game 2. This was after apparently doing even the most basic level of research where Lue and co. realized that Tristan Thompson is statistically the best player in the NBA against Al Horford.
“Looking at the statistics, over the last three years with at least 30 possessions [defending him], out of all the guys that have guarded Al Horford, Tristan is no. 1 in the league defending Al Horford,” Lue told reporters. “So, that’s a good thing, you know?”
Seems like something that you may have wanted to know before Game 1. Kevin Love cannot guard Horford, that is painfully clear. And Love is a great player, but he’s not exactly a physical presence in the paint and he loves to drift out for those corner 3’s so its much easier for the C’s to switch another defender onto him as he floats around. Thompson isn’t exactly an offensive wunderkind, but if he can put the screws to Horford defensively then it may alter how the C’s run their offense.
I think the Celtics are going to stick with what got them here rather than react prematurely to any lineup changes Cleveland makes. If the Cavs want to insert Thompson into the starting 5 then let them; don’t overthink things and change one of the most efficient lineups in the NBA.
“Tatum, Rozier and Brown — Ainge’s last three first-round picks — combined for 47 points and 20 rebounds on Sunday. Throw in the other two starters — Al Horford and Marcus Morris — and in these playoffs, that lineup is scoring at a more efficient rate than the Warriors’ Death Lineup, which might well be the best lineup in basketball history.”
Now the Celtics just need to withstand the roundhouse kick they all know is coming from LeBron James. He is going to come out guns blazing tonight. He was shooting around while most of us were still eating breakfast so he’s definitely ready to go.
First player on the court this morning? LeBron James, all alone,. shooting by himself pic.twitter.com/FP5ddmJNPY
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydNBA) May 15, 2018
Weather that storm boys.