I don’t like turning games off at halftime. While I do love sleep, I prefer overtime thrillers. So, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a dud. Lebron James, a well rested Lebron James, dismissed the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night with a standard playoff performance. Ya know, just another day at the office: 38 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. He’s decceeennttt….
Lebron, as pictured above, might as well have been going through a layup line last night. I must say, I am extremely disappointed in Celtics coach Brad Stevens. Coach Stevens thought it was a good idea to put a combination of Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk on Lebron defensively. How’d that work out for ya?! Coach Stevens should know Lebron wants to attack the basket. And attack the basket he did. Lebron was 7-8 from the field in the first quarter. Seemingly all on uncontested layups right down the middle of the lane. I understand that Lebron is practically as big as a center, but he can’t be guarded by one.
The harsh reality is no one can guard Lebron James, especially from the Celtics roster, but you have to slow him down..at least a little bit. Coach Stevens, even though you didn’t ask, I offer my advice:
You have to put either Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley on Lebron James, and then double Lebron anytime he gets past the free throw line. This will force Lebron to either force a bad shot or pass the ball out to the perimeter. And as good as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are, I’ll take my chances. Crowder is the better option due to his size (6’6″, 235 lbs.), strength, and speed combination. However, Bradley is the Celtics’ best on-ball defender. And while he gives up 6 inches and 70 pounds to Lebron, if he gives Lebron extra space on the perimeter and forces Lebron to shoot (he went 1-6 from 3-point range last night), they may stand a better chance.
The Celtics did NOT stand a chance in Game 1. The final score of 117-104 doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. At halftime, the Cavaliers took their foot off the pedal, and placed their vehicle in cruise control. Which begs the question: with a 21-point lead with 5 minutes left in the game, why were the Cavalier’s starters still on the floor?! I understand they had just spent the past 10 days resting, but what if Lebron, Kyrie, or Kevin had gotten hurt?? And speaking of rest. I bet all you people debating rest vs. momentum and how much rest is too much rest, are the same people who hit the panic button on the Cavaliers back in January, and again in March, and then again in April. Hey..pssssttt..guess what? Lebron James has been there and done this before. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be just fine.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors haven’t lost a basketball game since 1974. It sure seems that way doesn’t it?? After last night’s drubbing, their historic, 3-peat rematch is one step closer. I can’t wait!!
Will the Cavaliers and Warriors both sweep their way to the NBA Finals? Tell me in the comment section below.
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