Throughout the 2018 Playoffs, Cleveland's most dependable reserve has been Jeff Green, but the 11th-year man from Georgetown (and former Celtic) struggled on Sunday, going 1-for-3 from the floor and finishing with six points in just under 20 minutes of action. "We understand that", said Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue.
In Game 2 of the Conference quarterfinals when he Indiana Pacers were threatening to take a 2-0 lead after winning Game 1 at home, LeBron shot 46 points on 71 percent shooting in a three-point win. It was a collective effort but Morris was the primary defender on James, and he limited James to his worst performance in the playoffs. LeBron's playoff stat line is ridiculous; 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game with 55% shooting from the field. "Everybody played their part in guarding him".
They have been underdogs in every game since the start of the second round against the Sixers.
However, history may be on Boston's side. Morris believes that the Celtics defended really well and neutralized the best player in the league.
Like Thompson, Love is expecting a better showing from James in Game 2. They finished with four players in double figures, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with a game high 23 points. That has to change. No one in the Eastern Conference has the offensive firepower to beat the Cavs four times.
The Cavaliers are 55-18 when they reach the century mark, while the Celtics are 50-14. However, the National Basketball Association playoffs format is still heavily flawed so we get the two best teams playing each other before the Finals.
Knowing how the Celtics play and how they hunt matchup advantages, this was a decision point for the Cavs' coaching staff in the run-up to the series.
While NBA fans may have been forced to stomach the "no one respects my team" claim from Boston fans, no one expected Boston to dominate Cleveland the way it did. The Cavaliers shot 36 percent overall and went 4 for 26 from three. He has 994 against the Celtics in 35 games.
Going back to the first round, people have doubted the Boston Celtics' ability to win a playoff series without having the best player on the court.
When they are open, the Cavaliers can't afford to miss.
'Marcus Morris missed the jump shot, followed it up - they got a dunk'.
Brown scored 13 points in the first quarter while Horford added 11 and the Celtics owned a 14-6 rebounding edge.
James is not going to be in the 15-point range again. When was the last time the Cavs even gave up so many paint points? James will have to go off but the Celtics are making sure that life is hard for everyone else. They need to play like they did against the Raptors if they want any chance of success in this series against the Celtics. If they beat the Celtics, they'll take on the victor of what should be a grueling Western Conference Finals.
There's a danger in assuming a positive regression to the mean against the Celtics, as the 76ers learned last round.