Although we’re definitely in basketball season right now, the Boston Celtics just hit a home run in Game 1!
At the beginning of any series in the NBA Playoffs, it’s expected that the home team will get off to an early lead by taking Game 1. The Celtics jumped out to an early lead in the game and did not look back. In a 108-83 win, the Celtics’ defense proved to be their most valuable weapon, especially Marcus Morris. He was tasked with primarily guarding LeBron James.
“It’s exciting,” said Morris. “I love the challenge. But it’s a team effort.”
He picked up two quick fouls early in the first quarter, but Celtics coach, Brad Stevens, elected to keep him in. Morris finished the game with three fouls. He was the front line of defense, but Boston gave the three-time Finals MVP a number of different defenders, and it worked for Game 1. The four-time league MVP shot 5-16 and committed 7 turnovers. It is not what we are used to seeing out of the 15-year veteran, especially in his great postseason run. Despite the Game 1 collapse though, King James is not a bit unsettled; and likely so. He’s been here before.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage,” James said. “You see ways you can get better throughout the series.”
In the opening round of the Playoffs against Indiana, Cleveland was staring at a nail-biting 0-1 deficit as well. Of course, this is a different team, but similar situation nonetheless.
“I’ve been down in the postseason before,” stated James. “I’m just as confident going into a series whether it’s a 0-0 series or I’m down 0-1.” He has earned every right because we have all seen this situation before. Game 2 will show Cleveland’s adjustments.
The Celtics were hitting on all cylinders. They finished with four players in double figures, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with a game high 23 points. Morris added 21 points and 10 boards. Despite the youth of the Celtics, they are hungry and playing with a swagger that’s lead them to this point. Brad Stevens continues to emphasize his theory that you don’t have to win every game, but it’s necessary to grow and get better from every game. After the win, he greeted the team in the locker room, making sure that they understand the level of play they have to bring in Game 2.
“I think we’re very alert to the fact that we’ll get a heavyweight punch on Tuesday night,” said the Celtics coach. “It’s another great challenge, another great opportunity to experience something for this team.”
The Celtics are 8-0 at home in this postseason.
The last time LeBron James was down 0-1 in the postseason, he scored 46 points and 71 percent shooting in a win. Let’s see what we will witness despite the adversity in this case.
Catch Game 2 on Tuesday night (May 15) in Boston.