The Boston defense held the Cavaliers to just 36 percent shooting in Game 1.
"I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness", he said. "We had a few rotations that we were a little late on. As role players, we've got to play our role". If Morris is making things hard, and James just gets through it anyways, you have to accept that.
"We have to focus on what we do best, realize that you're going to get that punch, that you're going to get that hit by LeBron and the rest of those guys", said Stevens.
Aren't the best of the lot like that-if not the majority of them?
Al Horford said Tuesday morning ahead of shootaround that the key heading into Game 2 is, "Just understanding that this is another challenge".
With that being said, Horford poses the worst possible matchup for Love at center - which is exactly how it looked Game 1.
Well, in case you were wondering exactly what the cursive letters near the Celtics' sideline is, we'll remind you before Game 2 of the series tips off tonight.
"I have zero level of concern at this stage", said James, who was five for 16 from the floor and missed all five three-point attempts. And when LeBron isn't all that great in Game 1, he tends to follow it up with a big Game 2 (unless he's playing the Warriors in the NBA Finals). Kevin Love led the Cavs with 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
But it is just the first game. In the following six Game 2s, he upped his shooting percentage to 41.2 percent. "So, that's good, you know?"
Boston entered with the same gameplan as Toronto did in the series, which was taking those shooters away and forcing LeBron to carry a large load offensively, but the Celtics have personnel better suited to that objective, with a group of young, talented defenders who stayed engaged. He was taking on much of the additional responsibility, and it felt like the Celtics would need that in the playoffs. The veteran National Basketball Association handicapper is on a sizzling 17-7 run on his point-spread National Basketball Association playoff picks, and he's also on a 9-2 run in games involving either Boston or Cleveland.
No matter what their coach believes, Thompson will try to help boost the Cavs' intensity, no matter if he's starting. When LeBron James speaks, Ty Lue does whatever he's told.
Talented 20-something players Tatum, Rozier and Brown have filled the void left by injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, combining with Horford - who has been eliminated by James 4 times in the playoffs - to become a formidable force that outhustled the more experienced Cavaliers and dominated defensively.
Horford is averaging career-best playoff marks in points per game (17.2) and field-goal efficiency (59.3 percent) and has come up big in clutch moments. The Cavs won the series in seven.
Thompson's re-emergence in the starting five would be just another peak in his drastically up-and-down playoffs. "[Sunday] night, we weren't in sync offensively and it kind of carried over to our defense". "We weren't going to adjust until someone beat us".
"I think as a team, 1 through 5, we've got to all play tougher", Thompson said.
Who Is Feeling It From Downtown? Otherwise LeBron's impending triple-double and the Cavs' 3-point percentage might not be enough. While the real reason is poor shooting, Marcus Morris had other ideas and continues to talk, disrespecting both LeBron and his Cavs teammates. "But I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2, I've been down before in the postseason".