Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: Boston didn’t have a chance

Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: Boston didn’t have a chance

Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dominate Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics for an Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 win.

After their Eastern Conference Finals game 1 drubbing, can the Boston Celtics realistically win against the Cleveland Cavaliers? By all indications, it’s looking like the answer is a big no. The Celtics simply have no answer for Lebron James. The former MVP dominated Boston to the tune of 38 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Helping him was Kevin Love who had 32 points of his own to go along with 12 rebounds, a steal, and a block. Isaiah Thomas who was so dominant against the Wizards, looked all to human against Cleveland. The Celtics’ best player only had 17 points though he managed to dish out 10 dimes.

Boston gets knocked down in the first half

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t show any signs of rust despite the long layoff. Lebron James immediately made his presence known by helping the Cavs to a 14-7 lead in the 1st quarter. The King ended the first quarter with 15 points while the whole Boston team only managed 17. After the first period, the Celtics were practically toast as they never could stop James’ rampage.

Things were practically the same in the second quarter. This time though, it was Kevin love doing most of the damage. In wanting to slow down Lebron, Boston tried to pressure him with double teams on pick and rolls. Unfortunately, this only served to give the other Cavaliers more open shots. While James only had 8 points in the second quarter, Cleveland was comfortably ahead with a 61-36 lead over Boston.

A futile second half for the Celtics

The second half of the Eastern Conference Finals game 1 was essentially the same as the first. James and Kevin Love led the way as Cleveland went into cruise control mode. After 13 points in the first half, Love exploded for 17 in the second. A lot of his success in the quarter had to do with Boston trying to limit Cleveland’s drives to the basket. With Al Horford staying in the perimeter, Love found himself open for threes all quarter long. In fact, he managed hit 5 of his 6 3-pointers in the quarter alone.

By the fourth quarter, it was clear that the Eastern Conference Finals game 1 was Cleveland’s win. Boston tried to mount a comeback but as long as Lebron James was on the floor, the Cavs always had an answer. When James finally sat down at the 3:06 mark, Cleveland was comfortably ahead 111-94. The Celtics managed to gain some ground with their reserves but it as a case of too little, too late. At the end of regulation, the Cavs won the game 117-104 and now have a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Celtics are just overmatched

Of course, it wasn’t as if Boston wasn’t trying to stop Lebron’s Eastern Conference Finals game 1 romp. They constantly tried to change things up defensively and gave him different looks. There were even points in the game where Isaiah Thomas was guarding him. With that said, even if they took away his drives, James still had his teammates to pass to. Defensively, the Cavs also did a great job taking away the Celtics options. Isaiah Thomas had a horrible night and was only 7 of 19 from the field. More importantly, he was a non-factor down the stretch as the Cavs clamped down on him defensively.

If we go by this first game, then it’s looking like this series is going to be a Cleveland win. Make no mistake about it, the Celtics can still make this interesting. However, it’ll be hard to recover from that Eastern Conference Finals game 1 beatdown. To avoid getting into a 2-0 hole, Boston needs to force Lebron James to be a jump shooter. For this to happen, they’ll need Al Horford to anchor their defense and to play better on offense. Of course, this is easier said than done. To accomplish this, they’ll need Horford to be always in the key area. This presents a lot of problems since any Cavs shooter can easily step out and hit an open 3 (like Love in the 3rd quarter).

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