Throughout the 82-game regular season, the Boston Celtics did their best to secure the top spot within the Eastern Conference. While the Cleveland Cavaliers were more worried about resting their players than where they stood in the standings, their counterpart expended their energy on making sure they had one thing when they met the wine and gold in the playoffs: Home court advantage. The Celtics spent 82 games trying to gain that advantage, it took all but 48 minutes for them to lose it.
After getting dominated in Game 1 in almost all areas, Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas said that, although the Cavaliers now have home-court advantage, Boston still, somehow, isn’t scared of the wine and gold.
Here’s what he told the media during the team’s workout Thursday afternoon, according to cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor:
“I’m very confident. 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.”
Technically, he’s correct. Outside of James (38 points, nine rebounds, seven assist, two steals), Kevin Love (32 points, 12 rebounds), and Tristan Thompson (20 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals), the rest of the team had just 27 points. That said, the Monstars were also pretty top heavy with Pound and Bupkus dropping 71 of the team’s 77 points, but we digress. Also: Outside of Love, who knocked down 6-of-9 shots from beyond the arc, the Cavs, who are known for their shooting, were just 5-of-22 from long distance.
Many rumors have swirled that Cavs star LeBron James is in the process of making Space Jam 2, and the way he has played so far in the playoffs may suggest that he isn’t actually a human and really is a monster of some sort. But, even with that being said, Thomas and company seem to think that somehow, they will beat the Cavaliers in the seven-game series.
The wine and gold may have struggled in different areas, but they exposed the majority of Boston’s weakness – both offensively and defensively – in the first 48 minutes of the series. It may only be one game, but the Cavs seem to already be in control of the series, while Thomas seems to think that his team just needs to improve on two things and they’ll be right back in it.
“We’ve just got to be more in tune as a group. We can’t leave anybody on islands. We’ve got to let those guys see five guys in help position. I think if we do that — the clips were showing that where we did that, we played good defense that possession, we got stops, but when we left guys on islands and by themselves and not talking and communicating, that’s when they went on their run and opened the game up.”
One of the adjustments that they should make is for Thomas not to think that he can drive against James, it clearly won’t turn into a good situation for Boston.
Boston may only have a 1-0 deficit in the series, but they’ve arguably been counted out even before the series began, and now many more have joined that group following Cleveland’s dominance in Game 1. But, Thomas and company want to shock the NBA world.
“We’re not just happy to be here. We want to win this series, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to let everybody in this world know that we’re for real, and we’re one of the top teams in the NBA, and with this series we’ve got to go out and show the world because like everybody knows, everybody is counting us out, and we’ve been there before, though, so it’s nothing new for us.”
Clearly, the Cavaliers aren’t the Monstars, so Thomas is technically correct. But, while stating that, he pointed out something as well: Cleveland can play much, much better than they did in Game 1. Keep in mind, they still put up 117 points and were in control of the game from the opening tip to the final whistle, which is truly scary for Boston going forward.