Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens knows the risk of using double team against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, after losing in Game 1, Stevens revealed that they plan on double-teaming LeBron James in Game 2 on Friday night.
“Doubling is really scary against these guys, but it may be necessary,” Stevens said. “The conundrum is, do you double and risk giving up those easy step-in 3s and the rebounds? Or do you try to stay at home and do the best you can and make them make a tough shot? It’s all easier said than done, but we’ve got to figure out our best avenue quickly.”
LeBron James doesn’t feel great but drops 38 points in Game 1
LeBron James is unstoppable in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, finishing with 38 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Despite establishing another incredible performance, James said that he still doesn’t feel great in what he called a “feel-out game.” “The King” vowed to perform better in Game 2 which proved to be a major concern for the Celtics.
Celtics forward Jae Crowder, who’s one of the players tasked to defend James, admitted that he needs to do a better job in order to stop the Cavs star. Like coach Brad Stevens, Crowder believes it will be best for the Celtics to use a double team against James in Game 2. This could make him think twice before driving to the basket.
However, James will surely find a way to take advantage of the Celtics’ strategy. Stevens definitely knows the risk of focusing the defense on James as it will let some of his teammates open. Stevens and Crowder both acknowledged James’ high IQ and court vision which makes him hard to stop.
Jaylen Brown guarding LeBron James in Game 2
Coach Brad Stevens used multiple defenders on LeBron James in Game 1. Aside from Crowder, Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown were tasked to stop James. Of all those players, Brown showed the most inspired defense against James, saying that he’s not overwhelmed to go against “The King.”
“It was just playing basketball,” Brown said. “He laces his shoes up like I lace mine up. Coming out, playing basketball and trying to make it tough for him. I feel that’s my job. If Coach tells me, I’m going to be ready to guard whoever. If it’s the waterboy, I’m guarding him, too. It doesn’t matter to me.”
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