“We don’t back down from nobody, man. It’s that simple.”Jaylen Brown
This kind of thinking has been entrenched into the Boston Celtics motto all season long. Even how good Al Horford and their young trio of up-and-coming stars have played, one thing that clearly stands out is that this team is mentally strong.
The Celtics were the tougher team in Game 2, a game they beat the Cavaliers 107-94 to take a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is the first team in the East to stand up to a LeBron James dominant game and come out victorious. Game 2 was the first time since 2009 that James scored 40+ points in a Playoff game against an Eastern Conference foe, and lose.
The Cavs have plenty of problems right now, and many of them concern their struggles on defense. Through two games in the Eastern Conference Finals, Cleveland has allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions against a Boston Celtics team that averages only 105.2 points during the regular season. But this isn’t breaking news to anybody who watches the NBA, when the Cavs were ranked among the leagues worst defensive teams.
Instead, Cleveland predominately win games with their offense and they live and die by the 3-point line. Against the Celtics, and in this series, they’re drowning. Saturday’s Game 3 now has the feeling of a last stand, and the team needs to start sinking buckets to turn this thing around. As crucial as LeBron’s production always is to the Cavs, it might be even more critical for his teammates to step up and knock down their shots to claw their way out of this deep hole there currently in.
Catch you Monday.