Following Monday's practice session in Boston, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love spoke to members of the media with regards to his team's poor play against the Celtics in the first half of Sunday's Game 1 matchup.
A 25-point thumping was hard to predict, but the Boston Celtics' success in their statement Game 1 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers shouldn't come entirely as a surprise.
If you need evidence of Boston's team effort leading to the 9-4 playoff record, here it is: Jayson Tatum leads the team at 18.6 points per game, but Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier are both at 17.4, Al Horford at 17.2, Morris 12.9 and Marcus Smart 10.4. It blew out Philadelphia by 16 points during the second-round-opener, but Philly responded in Game 2 and almost came away with a bounce-back win. Al Horford's domination of Love set the tone of Game 1. Absent of that and good games from at least Love and one other player and the Cavs are going to be down 0-2.
LeBron James, however, believes there's still no cause for concern, regardless of the impressive nature with which Boston bludgeoned Cleveland into submission. Bet the Boston Celtics -1.0 over the Cavaliers in game 2.
Given his past, it's never a good idea to poke the sleeping bear that is LeBron James. He was 5 of 16 from the floor and had seven of his team's 10 turnovers in his 15-point game.
Boston seized a 63-35 lead early in the second half but the Cavs halved their deficit, Jeff Green's jumper at the 3rd-quarter buzzer pulling Cleveland within 78-64 entering the fourth.
Despite injuries and his diminished role this season with Love starting at center, Thompson, 27, still has postseason averages of 7.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. The best player of his generation averages 20.3 points per game with a paltry 14.6% shooting from three-point range in the last 12 games he's played against a team including Morris.
"I mean, he nearly had a triple-double, so he was pretty darned good", the Celtics coach said of James' Sunday performance. "We didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point".
While the Cavs played Jose Calderon at the start of the postseason, they started to go away from him with the athleticism of their opponents presenting a challenge for them. However that has not been the case, and the Celtics are now three wins away from being in the National Basketball Association finals.
After the game, the internet went insane once again. the masses came out with creative memes before the game practically making fun of Morris for suggesting such a thing.
The C's opened up the series Sunday afternoon by beating the Cavs in blowout fashion, but after the game, they mentally hit the reset button. "I think that Coach [Brad Stevens] kinda has to determine that", said Horford.
He also committed seven turnovers in the 108-83 thumping at TD Garden as the Celtics took a 1-0 lead.
As we saw all throughout the first round, James didn't get much help from his teammates.
There are small adjustments to be made, but the Cavaliers also have the option of breaking out a line-up change that could rob Boston of some of their switchability. We've got to help him and be effective.
Dan Feldman of NBC Sports put together a video comparing LeBron's recollection to the actual plays in the game.