Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 5-19-2018 - Prediction & Preview

LeBron James Kyrie Irving and Tyronn Lue

Sometimes, teamwork does the job just as well.

Smith's shoddy performance in Game 2 - he missed all seven shots and committed a flagrant 1 foul in 27 forgettable minutes - underscored a startling disparity between Cleveland's and Boston's starting backcourts that allowed the fearless Celtics to withstand a brilliant, 42-point effort by LeBron James and take a 2-0 series lead. LeBron was joined by point guard Kyrie Irving, power forward Kevin Love, shooting guard J.R. Smith and center Tristan Thompson. Cleveland shot poorly from outside in Game 1, and in Game 2, started hot from downtown, connecting on seven of its first 14 threes.

The Celtics, on the other hand, used a balanced attack as six players reached double figures. I felt like we played great defense, but the foul was called on Al Horford.

The Celtics lead the series 2-0. 'Bron tried to do that in Game 2 on Tuesday night at TD Garden and the full weight of the Celtics team shifted the balance back in Boston's direction. For that reason, Boston fans remained on edge with the inevitable LeBron James bounce back game on the cards. Boston has won both games in the series by double digits, and Cleveland appears to be in very serious danger of missing the finals for the first time since James's homecoming. "But if there is anybody I would put my money on, it would be this group". "That 12 minutes in the third quarter, that killed us".

In Tuesday's Game 2, it was quintessential Smart, as his handprints were all over Boston's rally from a double-digit first-half deficit, and then salted away the win late. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points.

Despite Cleveland's early lead, a 6-0 run for Boston to end the half left the game well and truly in the balance and in fact, you had the feeling the momentum had swung in favour of the home side.

"We have the opportunity to go back home and take home court", he said.

And more times than not, it's been Marcus Smart making them.

Ultimately, the decision as to when a player will return will be made by the team physician, but they will have to meet certain benchmarks in order to show that a player's physically ready to step back on the floor. We've got a lot of different guys guarding him.

"It wasn't like I was trying to low-bridge him or something to make sure he didn't get it". The Cavaliers are in the Eastern Conference finals, though that's largely due to the brilliance of LeBron James, who probably could have dragged the original roster this far too. That lead swelled to 7 points at halftime as Kyle Korver had a hot shooting streak in which he scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The Cavaliers have to get more balance in the scoring department, something that we've talked about all postseason long.

They were a team that tinkered with rotations and lineup combinations, a strategy spurred on by owner Dan Gilbert's text to Lue, giving him the green light to fail in the short term for the betterment of the team this time of year. Boston kept weathering the storm, as they went on a 22-10 stretch from 10:00-4:00 minutes in the third quarter.

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