We definitely didn't shoot the ball as well as we're capable of shooting. The Celtics have to go into survival mode against a Cleveland team that has them outmatched, particularly in terms of athleticism.
Still, the Celtics wound up grabbing the top seed and home-court advantage through the East finals, and that gave them the right to host Games 1 and 2.
The Celtics were down by 25 points at that point. That was something a good second half may have been enough to overcome against the Wizards or the Bulls if they started making mistakes.
Cleveland was the aggressor from the tip and the Celtics were out of sorts offensively and defensively for the first three quarters. Some jawing continued briefly before James stepped in to pull Thompson away. At that point, the game had always been decided. Tristan Thompson had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Kyrie Irving tallied 11 points and six assists. The Celtics offense looked much better in the third quarter with Green on the floor.
"We can't panic. It's only one game", Thomas said after Boston's off-day workout Thursday.
In a game where Isaiah Thomas never saw the free throw line, he expressed frustration at the lack of calls while recognizing the run was their deathblow.
The Celtics pushed the limits of their inconsistencies in the first two rounds, but there is no margin for error in this series. Stevens said James, at age 32, is better than when he became the Celtics coach in July, 2013. If he plays the way he did last night, the Celtics are in huge trouble. On the flip side, when left to his own devices, Love made it count, drilling 5-of-7 triples without a hand in his face. No amount of ball movement and no amount of back cuts are going to save the Celtics on their own. They set the tone in every way you could imagine - physically, mentally, emotionally, it didn't matter.
The Cavaliers dominated from the opening tipoff. If the Celtics can at least hit the easy ones consistently, then they may have the opportunity to keep the game close. At a certain point, though, the Celtics will have to commit to either helping or not. If they go small or if they go big.
To stay with the Cavaliers it will need to be a collective effort. Against the Cavaliers it will have to be everyone.
"I hope some of them walk around D.C. and take a deep breath", he said. According to the NBA's stats site, in 21 postseason games previous year, James scored.94 points per possession on 43% shooting, 46% eFG in isolations. "Coming out, playing basketball and trying to make it tough for him - I feel that's my job". The good news is that the Celtics have more talent that was not seen in that terrible first half.
Behind 38 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists from LeBron James, The Cavs pounded the C's into submission by a score of 117-104 (trust us, the game was much worse than the final score would lead you to believe).
Somehow encourage Al Horford to play like a big man instead of mostly playing like a guard. This is not a good time for your game to go south. Expect him to take a lot of shot in Game 2 in order to find his groove.