3 takeaways from Game 5 vs. Boston Celtics

26 May, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Al Horford lands a spot on the NBA's All Defense second team

If I could choose one guy to prevail, it would be LeBron.

The Celtics held James to two fourth-quarter points, earning their 10th straight victory in Boston to remain flawless at home this postseason and move within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010. He also scored 45 in a Game 7 loss for Cleveland in 2008, and now has a chance to boost his stunning resume further if he can get the Cavs to a fourth consecutive Finals. The Celtics prefer to defend the Cavaliers one-on-one, and since Cleveland has no other one-on-one scorer besides James - which is why they miss Kyrie Irving more than the Celtics do - the offense becomes too one-dimensional. In the entirety of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, only nine such games have been achieved.

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Leading the LeBron James haters to salivate as they begin the process of unsheathing, and sharpening, their blades. "I would think he'd get a little bit exhausted". Numerous turnovers were sloppy, careless passes. Rozier had eight points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals for the Celtics. Efficiency in statistic accumulation is important though, so let's turn to Win Shares. It ranked third for three-point shots made during the regular season (12.0). Boston, on the other hand, finished as the two seed in the Eastern Conference without their two best players.

Yes, it's even better than his MVP or championship-winning years. However, Boston made some adjustments for Game 5 to shorten their rotation to just seven players, and that clearly caused some problems for the Cavaliers. His 31.1 points per game were good though he had a career low 19.4% shooting from three-point land despite having the second most attempts from there in his postseason career (3.5 attempts per game with 0.7 makes).

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Two hours before game time, an assistant coach opened his Apple laptop and sat with Semi Ojeleye, a muscular and athletic 6-foot-7 rookie.

The Cavs and James didn't have much of a choice; they needed it to survive, but it's questionable if there will be lingering effects on Sunday. He does a lot for his team - scores, assists, rebounds.

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While the praise for the genius of Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has sometimes bordered on absurd, especially this postseason, Cavaliers coach Ty Lue's postgame press conference should provide a glimpse at the alternatives in today's National Basketball Association. Truth be told, James is probably also feeling the mental strain of dragging a woeful supporting cast to the finish line.

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