Sports

James' T-Double Cavs hardly needed

James' T-Double Cavs hardly needed

The Cleveland Cavaliers trail the Boston Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals, but Cowherd explained Wednesday how losing to the C's actually could help James' legacy in the long run.

He almost overcame another brilliant start from Boston's Jaylen Brown and equally brilliant finishes from Terry Rozier and Al Horford. He scored 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter, tying his playoff career high for points in a period.

"We have an opportunity to go back home, protect home court", James said after Game 2. But at the same time, they now know precisely what they have to work with as they try to either put together a better roster around James or, if he leaves as a free agent, get the team back in shape quicker than when James left the first time in 2010.Citing the aggregate of mock draft boards out there, the Cavs generally agree that a player like Michael Porter Jr., the Missouri forward considered by many to be the top player in the 2018 draft until he hurt his back at the start of the season, could be there at No. 8. Kevin Love was forced to defend the penetration, Cleveland missed a defensive rotation, and Baynes was able to finish a ideal lob to give Boston the lead.

J.R. Smith reached out, placed his hands on Al Horford's back and shoved Boston's big man out of bounds.

But by yesterday you no doubt became aware that Lue said, "We've got to be tougher".

Smith was later issued with a flagrant foul over the push, which sent Horford crashing to the floor. We're not old enough to have detested Red Auerbach's Celtics with vigor, but the Larry Bird-Kevin-McHale-Robert Parish squads got our full attention and all the negative emotion we could muster. "It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something, I just wanted to make sure he didn't get it". After a 25-point loss in the opener, Lue altered his frontcourt by putting Tristan Thompson with the first five and bringing Kyle Korver off the bench.

"I blatantly pushed him", Smith said. The talk out there appears to mostly be about LeBron's future, as well as the Cavs' alarming lack of (pick one: talent. passion. hustle. etc.) in Game 2.

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"It was a good, hard foul". Boston's third-quarter surge produced decibel levels on par with that seen in the Celtics' Game 2 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in which the team overcame a 22-point deficit and later raved about the noise inside the building.

Jaylen Brown led the team with 23 points, but six Celtics were in the double digits by the time the final buzzer sounded.

"It's one of those deals where when you give a player confidence - and I give a lot of that credit to Brad Stevens - and that player has potential, that can grow into something special".

Boston led 84-77 after three quarters and took command late in the fourth with the Cavs getting little offense other than from James.

I felt like we played great defense, but the foul was called on Al Horford.

"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us". "It's like a bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up".


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