Anderson: Celtics Should Expect LeBron James Show Tonight

Anderson: Celtics Should Expect LeBron James Show Tonight

Anderson: Celtics Should Expect LeBron James Show Tonight

It is surprising to see the Cavaliers outclassed when they have LeBron James - one of the greatest players to have ever graced the courts.

"They showed two bodies (guarding James) all night", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. Morris made the headlines prior to Game 1 by declaring that he is the best player in the league (behind San Antonio Spur Kawhi Leonard) to guard LeBron.

"The last couple of playoffs, and our meeting at the end of year, they blew us out of the water", Boston guard Marcus Smart said. In fact, in the three games immediately following a lost this postseason, the 6-foot-8 James is averaging 41 points, 11 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. Al Horford had 20 and the high-leaping Jayson Tatum added 16.

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Following the Cavs' 108-83 loss in Game 1, Lue hardly hid his hand regarding potential adjustments for his team. Furthermore, the fifth-ranked offense of the Cavaliers (offensive efficiency of 110.8) will go head-to-head against the second-ranked defense of the Celtics (defensive efficiency of 102.6).

Over James' postseason lifetime, a circumstance similar to what he's suggesting here against the Celtics has played out on a few other memorable occasions.

In the first quarter, James faced five different defenders who all refused to give away anything easy during the Celtics' breakout 28-4 run. LeBron's leadership will get the Cavaliers off to a better start than they had in the series opener. The Boston Celtics are -1.0 over the Cavaliers in game 2. "We got stagnant in their third quarter run". It probably wouldn't be a great seller, but crazier things have happened. James left for Miami that summer. If you loaded up on Celtics, that worked out well in Game 1. After averaging 22.5 dimes a game in the regular season and 21.6 during the playoffs, Boston dished out 27 assists in the Game 1 rout.

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But LeBron looking as bad as he did in Game 1?

The answer to the most confounding question of this generation - How do you stop the greatest player in the game? - can not be solved by one studious defender.

The Cavaliers are 55-18 when they reach the century mark, while the Celtics are 50-14. The Celtics can't afford to leave Rozier on an island in those situations, meaning there's an opening on the weakside that James has the vision to locate. "[James] made the right play and the right pass; we just didn't make shots". They suffered a similar loss in Game 1 of their first round series against the Pacers, only to bounce back in Game 2 behind 46 points, 12 rebounds and five assists from James. The Cavaliers also shot better from the 3-point line as a team, going from making 23.5 percent of their 3-point attempts in Game 1 to 39.3 percent in Game 2.

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The Cavs cut Boston's lead to 14 entering the fourth quarter, and the Celtics opened up with a quick 7-0 run to rebuild the lead. If the Celtics are going to continue switching across the board in an effort to slow James down, they need Love to attack mismatches in the post like he did against the Raptors. It was just one game in what is expected to be a long series, but there is an extended history of "Mook" containing "The King"-proving that Morris' lofty claims have some serious merit".

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