LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers easily destroyed the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, making some people believe that they are headed to their third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. However, Isaiah Thomas remains optimistic that the Celtics can bounce back and vowed to tie the series in Game 2.
“I’m very confident,” Thomas said after the Celtics’ off-day workout Thursday afternoon. “I believe in these guys. We’re not scared of Cleveland. They’re not the Monstars. They’re not on Space Jam. Like, they lace up their shoes just like us. They just happened to play better than us in Game 1 and we’ve just got to protect home court in Game 2 and get the win. We can’t panic. It’s only one game. It’s one game. They took care of business, and we’ve just got to take care of business Game 2.”
Cavs’ defense focused on Isaiah Thomas in Game 1
The Cavaliers proved to be the better team on both ends of the floor in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Aside from their explosiveness on the offensive end, they managed to limit Thomas’ production to just 17 points on 36.8 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue revealed that their main objective in Game 1 is to get physical on Thomas.
The strategy seemed to be effective as the Celtics were unable to execute Isaiah Thomas pick-and-rolls out of fear that he would be smothered into submission. Thomas admitted that the Cavs’ defense on him is very different than the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. He said that the Cavaliers are playing their “traditional ways” but noticed the times they used a trap on him.
However, the Celtics star doesn’t seem to be worried about their offense. Thomas believes the Celtics can still get any shot they wanted but they were just unable to capitalize. In Game 2, Thomas vowed to be more aggressive on the offensive end.
Celtics using double team on LeBron James in Game 2
LeBron James is unstoppable in what he called a “feel-out game.” He finished the game with 38 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Coach Brad Stevens sent multiple players to guard James. However, none of them could stop him on the offensive end. In their upcoming game, Stevens opens up the possibility of using double team against James.
“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.”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins