Celtics open East finals by ripping Cavaliers

Looking for a draft-day miracle and other trending NBA stories

Looking for a draft-day miracle and other trending NBA stories

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.

"LeBron James, you said you ain't anxious but you better get damn anxious", Barkley said on National Basketball Association on TNT.

He finished with a monster triple-double of 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists but was unable to carry the Cavaliers to a win like he has done on many occasions already in this postseason when he's had those type of numbers. Brad Stevens even said as much during an interview during the broadcast, so it wasn't a surprise when that appeared to be Boston's approach. "He's the guy we really, really lean on". Yes, LeBron James had an uncharacteristically bad game in Game 1, but for Cleveland to win this series it needs Love to be the player he was against Toronto, when he scored over 20 points the final three games, instead of the one he was against in, when he had multiple single-digit games.

When LeBron James has the kind of game he had in Game 1, he usually does something legendary. After a poise-challenged pair of turnovers by the Cavs, Horford nailed a jump shot from 21 feet. He did register nine assists and seven rebounds. Smith denied feeling frustrated, but the plays sure looked connected. "We can't just expect him to do everything". Fortunately, enough players stepped up for for them to get the scoring they needed.

As expected, Tristan Thompson started in place of Kyle Korver in the hopes his presence could energize what was a sluggish Cavs offense in Game 1. "I think they had a great game plan in Game 1". In fact, this was the first double-double in his postseason career.

The reason: He's got a teammate by the name of LeBron James that's had a way of responding after lopsided playoff defeats.

"He's obviously not going to have many games like that", said Stevens, well aware of not wanting to poke the bear.

Celtics open East finals by ripping Cavaliers
Celtics open East finals by ripping Cavaliers

"The first possession we ran them down all the way to two [seconds left] on the shot clock", James said.

"We've got to help 'Bron", JR Smith said after the opener. It actually makes me feel better about myself. I think they're playing tougher than we are. After being out-rebounded 24-16 in the opening half, Boston made a objective to crash the glass in the final two quarters and wound up finishing with one more board (46-45) than the Cavs.

The Celtics were up 11 midway through the fourth when James struck for five straight points.

Safe to say they didn't miss his depth contribution in Game 1. What they need to avoid is him being abused and exploited regularly by James.

Meanwhile, the Celtics let James go nuts and still won.

Talented 20-something players Tatum, Rozier and Brown have filled the void left by injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, combining with Horford - who has been eliminated by James four times in the playoffs - to become a formidable force that out-hustled the more experienced Cavaliers and dominated defensively.

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