Monday, 20 August, 2018

Boston Celtics stumble offensively in most costly road loss yet

LeBron dominates Celtics to stay alive Boston Celtics Pride: The growing legend of Jayson Tatum
Jennie Wade | 26 May, 2018, 17:43

LeBron James' 46-point, 11-rebound, nine-assist masterpiece had more to do with the Cavaliers forcing a Game 7.

"Best player in the game", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "Like I've always said, Game 7 is the best two words in sports".

"They have been very successful against us at home, but we love challenges and this is a great opportunity".

The Celtics are a ideal 10-0 at home this postseason.

Love did not return to the game. His team is one win away from its first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. But Tatum has taken his performance to another level in his first National Basketball Association postseason, averaging 18.4 points in 17 games.

"You have to be ready for a dogfight", the Celtics guard added.

"It's a Game 7", James said.

James was moving pretty well soon after as the Cavs went back up 10, but Boston was down just 97-90 when Brown missed a wide-open 3-pointer near the four-minute mark.

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The Boston Celtics know that their homecourt advantage won't make the winner-take-all Game 7 any easier against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

To examine that question, ESPN brought in NBA Insiders Chris Herring, Kevin Arnovitz, Micah Adams, Kevin Pelton, and André Snellings - none of whom give the Cavs more than a 50 percent chance to advance - and asked them how a loss tonight would change James' tomorrow. Jayson Tatum?and James had already turned his head toward the other end of the court as he signaled that the possession should belong to Cleveland as the ball went out of bounds, making him unable to avoid the contact.

Two hours before game time, an assistant coach opened his Apple laptop and sat with Semi Ojeleye, a muscular and athletic 6-foot-7 rookie. What made his performance even more impressive was the fact that he did it without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who exited the game in the first half with an apparent head injury.

The Cavs led by 16 in the third period thanks to terrific efforts from Hill and Green, and James finally took his first rest with 57.3 seconds left in the quarter and Cleveland up 80-67.

Tatum has said in the past that Kobe was his favorite player growing up, so it should come as no surprise that he loved the Kobe video.

After Game 5, much of the discussion centered around how James appeared lethargic with many openly wondering if the toll of 15 seasons (most extended by deep playoff runs) was showing on him. Oh... And any talk about James' future is on hold.

The 33-year-old has said several times since coming home in 2014 that he wants to retire with the Cavaliers, but fans are uneasy because he can opt out of his $35.6 million contract this summer and test free agency.

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