Friday, 17 August, 2018

Boston Celtics: Marcus Morris shows up when it matters most

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Frederick Owens | 16 May, 2018, 08:27

LeBron James will probably score 35 points (or more) tonight, maybe with 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love battle for a loose ball during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. Players like Shane Larkin, Semi Olejeye, and Marcus Smart make it possible for Coach Stevens to sub out the starters and let them rest for long periods of times.

The NBA Playoffs are down to the four remaining teams for this year's conference finals. James was 5-of-16 shooting with seven turnovers in Game 1, though he did finish with nine assists. Ultimately though, it won't be enough against the much better all-around team in Boston. "He was my matchup and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was and all of my teammates was".

Marcus Morris didn't defend James the entire game, but when he did, he actually backed up his quote.

The Celtics have taken 2-0 leads in both of their previous series and, even though they needed seven games to dispose of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, they can rely on the franchise being 37-0 all time when taking a 2-0 lead in a series. He had his worst outing of the postseason during Game 1, scoring just 15 points on the afternoon, but Boston knows better than to expect a repeat effort Tuesday night.

There's also the fact that James is averaging 41 points, 11 rebounds, and shooting almost 65 percent in three games following a loss this postseason. "He's always done it even before he came back to Cleveland and since I've been here he's always responded big".

The Celtics looked really comfortable and confident in Game 1, and it's hard to figure what will change.

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Morris backed up every every bit of talk from before the game, and now it is James that has to figure out how to get around this defense.

For what it's worth, the 76ers are reportedly very interested in the idea of signing James, with Philly.com's Keith Pompey reporting that the franchise is "prepared to do whatever it takes" to add him to the roster.

It would really be nice if National Basketball Association players would walk the walk and let their actions speak louder that talk. In 34 minutes of action, Morris had 21 points on 7-12 shooting and 10 rebounds.

Before the Cleveland Cavaliers started, Morris put a massive target on his back, despite his poor performance.

As for LeBron himself, he admitted neither he nor the Cavs had an answer to the Celtics' high-energy approach in Game One but vowed to come back stronger in Game Two.

The Cavs cut Boston's lead to 14 entering the fourth quarter, and the Celtics opened up with a quick 7-0 run to rebuild the lead.

LeBron James was certainly passive and a lot of the Cavaliers' misfortune was due to the Cavaliers missing uncontested three-point attempts and going down big on the scoreboard early.

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