Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
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Five quick takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ embarrassing 108-83 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden…
1. Here in Northeast Ohio, it felt like a Browns Sunday. Cool, wet and not a ray of sunshine in the sky, the 60-degree weather felt like a day the local football team would’ve suited up… then the Cavaliers went out and played like them.
2. It was a nontest from the jump, well, not really the jump. A LeBron James free throw on a foul by self-reputed LeBron stopper Marcus Smart, his second, put Cleveland up, 7-4. By the time Celtics coach Brad Stevens subbed Morris out, Boston had gone on a 16-0 rip to take a 20-7 lead and never looked back.
3. The 36 points the Celtics put on the Cavaliers in the first quarter were the most allowed by Cleveland in an opening quarter in the 12 playoff games its played this season, resulting in a 36-18 deficit. Boston then pretty much ended the suspense in regards to the outcome by outscoring Cleveland in the second quarter, 25-17, to take a commanding 61-35 advantage into halftime. The trio of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford outscored the Cavaliers, 38-35, making 14 of 20 shots, while Cleveland connected only 14 of 42.
4. It took only 27 minutes — and 14 consecutive misses — before the Cavaliers made their first 3-pointer, by Kyle Korver, having posted a dirty dozen of misses without a make in the first half. It didn’t get much better, either, as Cleveland made just 4-of-26 from beyond the arc, a putrid 15.4 percent. It seems the more time the Cavaliers have to prepare, the worse they play.
5. To the surprise of, well, pretty much everyone, Passive LeBron shows up for Game 1, just as he did for Game 1 of the first-round series against the Pacers. He attempted only 16 shots and it resulted in only 15 points, his lowest of the postseason, adding seven rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in 36 minutes. He shot just 3-of-8 in the first half for seven points. The guy who averaged 34.4-10.0-7.7 against Indiana and 34.0-8.3-11.3 against Toronto finished with a plus-minus of minus-32, more than twice worse than any of Cleveland player and had seven turnovers. This was the first time in these playoffs James didn’t lead the Cavs in scoring (Kevin Love had 17 points) and first time this postseason James failed to score 20 points. These Cavs simply aren’t good enough if Passive LeBron is the version of him they’re going to get.