We'll see if Thomas can pick up his play in Game 2 and if the Celtics can bounce back to even the series at one apiece on Friday night, but one thing appears to be as close to a guarantee as you'll find in the National Basketball Association: nobody can stop LeBron when he's playing like this and in the Eastern Conference, it really might just be that simple. The Cavaliers won Game 1 in Boston 117-104, making it 9 straight wins to start the 2017 playoffs. That stood as the last Game 7 road win in the Finals until the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors last season.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James takes the floor for Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Boston. He and his Cavs have swept Horford's teams three times, with Horford missing Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals due to injury.
The ball club should find a way to slow down LeBron James without getting eaten up by other Cavaliers stars.
Game 2 is Friday night at TD Garden before the series shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4. Isaiah Thomas was held to just 17 points, but he had 10 assists.
"I was trying to use angles, see how my defender was playing me", James said. Holding the rights to Brooklyn's first-round draft pick from the 2013 trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets, they won the lottery and will take the top pick for the first time since 1950. "We have to expect that and understand there might be dirty plays and cheap shots or whatever coming from the other side".
"We got the shots we wanted on the offensive end nearly all of the first half", Thomas said, noting the Cavs were rested while his team had just come off a seven-game series with the Washington Wizards. It was a total team effort, however, most of Celtics head coach Brad Stevens' attention was on one man and that was LeBron James. The hit us first. "We'll make sure it's different on Game 2".
"I expect them to come out swinging, plain and simple, and playing scrappy like they do and like they have been playing all year", Smith said.
Perhaps the most competitive moment Wednesday between the Cavaliers and Celtics came during a confrontation between Tristan Thompson and Marcus Smart late in the third quarter.
Love Showcases Perfect Shooting While Boston Attempts ComebackCleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) defending Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99). By halftime the Cavs had double the Celtics' rebounding total, 28-14. Love's defense was solid all night, although he'll never be someone to challenge shots at the rim, and his rebounding helped the team create more opportunities and limit the Celtics' second-chance points. "Obviously he got comfortable with what we were doing on the defensive end, and he had his way".