Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Odds Preview 05/15/18

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Odds Preview 05/15/18”

"I think any time that you have a great player, they're going to watch it close and figure out what they can try to do better and everything else, and nobody has been better at making those adjustments over the course of time than him", Stevens said of James.

"I was able to learn a lot from some great players - Tim (Duncan), Tony (Parker), Manu (Ginobili) and Boris (Diaw)", Baynes said.

"It's a team effort", Morris said after earning his first career playoff double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds while playing as the primary James stopper.

Boston Celtics players, from left, forward Jayson Tatum, guard Marcus Smart (36), forward Al Horford and forward Marcus Morris, far right, cheer from the bench during the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston.

But James was practically absent in their Game One tussle the other day. Jayson Tatum took the ball out, threw it to Marcus Smart in the short corner, he made a 3.

More than ever, they are dependent on their superstar, which could spell doom for them as Brad Stevens' Celtics appear, at least through one game, to have answers defensively that put the onus on James' teammates more than anyone in Cleveland would like. Morris believes that the Celtics defended really well and neutralized the best player in the league.

James was among those who credited Morris.

In the post-game press conference, a reporter asked James about a fourth-quarter run the Celtics made and he responded by detailing each play during that stretch in flawless detail that revealed his photographic memory.

The only Celtic in the starting lineup at risk of being picked on consistently by James is Terry Rozier, who stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 190-pounds. We've got to clean those up.

Two things then happened.

It was a risky decision by Brown to leave Korver in the corner, but he timed it perfectly and forced James' fifth turnover of the game.

Although Game 1 may have been a blowout, this does not mean Game 2 will be as easy. 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. He told TNT's Kristen Ledlow that it was a "feel-out game" after 10 days of rest for he and the Cavs. 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. We come back down, missed another shot. "Other than that, James most recently faced an 0-2 deficit in the second round against the Celtics in 2008, when James" Cavaliers lost Game 2, 89-73, and ultimately lost the series in seven games.

Boston is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs over their last five games. The Cavaliers' defense broke consistently due to their inability contain players along the perimeter or interior. In this postseason alone he's a ideal 3-0 after a loss, all coming in the Cavs' series vs. the Indiana Pacers. Morris finished the game with three fouls.

While James wouldn't have gotten this far without help from his teammates, the Pacers and Raptors didn't have the depth to make his life as hard as the Celtics did in Game 1.

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