Game 1 between the Celtics and Cavs went just about as expected, according to the masses. But just because Sunday’s game went south for Boston, doesn’t mean all is lost for a Celtics team that hasn’t shown much if any quit this season.
After one game, Celtics fans are either feeling pretty bad about the series, or feeling like stealing Game 2 isn’t out of the question. Hey, a win tonight (7 p.m., CSNNE) and the Celtics grab homecourt advantage.
Let’s go over why Celtics fans should be alarmed, and why there’s reason for hope.
Heading into the series, the thought was that even though LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA, the lack of playoff experience around him could hurt. Well, one game in and it’s safe to say Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love aren’t afraid of the big stage.
Irving was the best player on the court in Game 1, hitting contested shot after contested shot on his way to 30 points. Avery Bradley, one of the better on-ball defenders in the NBA, had no answer for him, and neither did any other Celtics guard. Love started off slow but finished with a double-double.
For the Cavs to win Game 1 the way they did with James pretty much in cruise control, makes it a bit scary to think about what they’ll do if James takes it up a notch or two.
The Celtics know they can score on the Cavaliers. They shot a better percentage from the field than the Cavs, had a lead after the first quarter, and even went on a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter (after they went down by 20 points).
The goal for Boston is simple: play clean basketball. The C’s allowed the Cavs 15 offensive rebounds which turned into 18 second-chance points, and 14 turnovers which turned into 20 points. That simply can’t happen in Game 2.
With those things in mind and a better offensive showing from Bradley – who struggled with just seven points in Game 1 – Boston should compete in Game 2.