News flash: The Boston Celtics are a very good team. I haven’t been saying this as long as some people have, but I have been saying this since I watched these Boston Celtics take apart my home town 76ers in five games about a week ago. The Celtics are really good. It’s not luck, it’s not because of hot shooting, it’s not because one person on the team had a really good game. The Boston Celtics are a really good team. I’m not sure that Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs read the memo that was emailed to every employee in the office…..or maybe they didn’t get it……or maybe they got it, and just didn’t want to believe it. Either way, they found out that the memo released by management was not a false alarm, first-hand yesterday. The Boston Celtics are a really good team.
The young Boston Celtics stepped into what was the first appearance in a Conference Finals game for most of its players, full of confidence. I watched the faces of the players on the Celtics before the tip-off. I saw no signs of fear, uncertainty, or an overwhelming amount of awe for their opponents on the other side of the court. Most notably King James. The Celtics looked like a team who were simply playing another game. Facing another opponent who was standing in-between them, and their ultimate goal. An NBA Championship. Even team veteran, Al Horford, who has personally felt the wrath of the King first hand, looked like he was not afraid of the moment.(That surprised the hell out of me. I was certain that Al Horford would find a safe hiding place and disappear this series. Guess I was wrong about that. Even though this is only 1 game, and there’s still plenty of time left for Big Al to go A.W.O.L in this series.) The Celtics came out early and played their type of game. The same game that worked so well against the 76ers. Play hard team defense, help out on the driving player, and on offense work the ball around until you find a good shot. As simple as this may sound on paper, this scheme can be very complicated and effective once put into operation out there on the court. The sh*t worked out very well for the Celtics once again yesterday.
Cleveland was never in this game. The outcome of this game was never in question. It was over shortly after the game started. Even when Cleveland made their run late in the 3rd quarter, I didn’t believe that, they believed that they were going to win the game. The Cavs just looked totally out of it and unprepared for what tapped them across that Thuggish-Ruggish Cleveland chin yesterday.
Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics with 23 pts. Philly native, Marcus Morris, who was inserted into the starting lineup specifically to matchup with Lebron James, had a nice game. He dropped in 21 pts to go along with 10 reb. Al Horford had 20 pts and rookie sensation, Jason Tatum added 16. “Scary” Terry Rozier was basically held in check yesterday on his way to an 8 pts. 8 ast effort, but that was all Boston really needed out of their spark plug yesterday. Kevin Love led the way for the Cavs with 17 pts. and 8 rebs. Lebron was held to 15 pts. 9 ast. and 7 reb….. I know what you’re thinking. Held right? For most, those stats would be a career night, but for the best player in the NBA, those numbers were sub-par. So, yes, “held” definitely applies here. Cleveland didn’t get much from anyone else. Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson both scored in double-digits, but most of that was garbage-time points.
This was only one game, so I won’t overreact like some people on tv are surely going to do, but the Cavs can be beat by this Boston Celtics team. If they don’t wake up and realize this, that is exactly what is going to happen. Game-2 is Tuesday night in Boston. This next game should give us some idea of how the rest of this series is probably going to play out.