Cleveland Cavaliers 117-104 Boston Celtics

Doug Mendoza
May 19, 2017

We'll see if Thomas can pick up his play in Game 2 and if the Celtics can bounce back to even the series at one apiece on Friday night, but one thing appears to be as close to a guarantee as you'll find in the National Basketball Association: nobody can stop LeBron when he's playing like this and in the Eastern Conference, it really might just be that simple. The Cavaliers and LeBron James came out fresh and energized in Game 1's 117-104 destruction of the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. The Celtics shooting picked up and they recorded five three-pointers on nine attempts.

Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas is a resilient dude with unshakeable confidence, so it's not a surprise that he believes his team can shrug off a disappointing Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers to even the series Friday night.

Not only has Cleveland stolen a home game, but they have stolen home-court advantage with 3 home games still stashed in their arsenal - just enough to close out the Men in Green.

Head to head, the Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Boston, the road team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings and the under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Boston. One game doesn't decide the series and, even though the Cavaliers are likely to advance, the Celtics have a squad that can give Cleveland a decent challenge when they play at their highest level. The Cavs really did dominate the Celtics on both ends of the floor and the final score doesn't do justice to how one-sided this game really was. More than anything, it felt like a statement game for the defending champions, a statement that is going to be felt until game 2 begins.

Throughout the first part of the third quarter, it was the same story, with Washington still clinging to a four-point lead with just over four minutes to go in the frame. While all of the players and coaches on the Celtics team at that point were different than the players and coaches from 2010, LeBron admitted that he still thought about what happened in 2010. But there was no mistaking that the Celtics began Game 1 Wednesday night running on fumes. "I think he brings a lot of athleticism to our team, and we're going to use it against these guys". He was just 7 of 19 from the floor, 2 of 7 from 3-point range. "We did a lot to push it to seven games against that team". They were more physical. James finished the game plus-16, the second-best margin of the game.

Isaiah Thomas, like many others, struggled offensively. James casually dribbled beyond the 3-point line, patiently waiting for the mismatch he desired.

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With games every other day, that's not going to get any better, either.

The Cavs, playing their first game since May 7, put on a clinic, leading wire to wire. James led Cleveland with 38 points in the game. In his 14th season, less than a month removed from ESPN The Magazine publishing a cover story about his inevitable breaking point, the best player on the planet is making near-perfection in the postseason look easy.

Not only were the C's just 12-for-38 (31.6%) from three-point range, they also finished 3-of-13 on uncontested threes. Watching this Boston-Cleveland series is kind of like watching a game of Spades, knowing Boston has a great hand by most standards, only to realize the Cavs are whipping out Aces left and right.

Cleveland built a 26-point lead in the first half, expanding it to 28 - matching the largest home playoff deficit in Celtics history - in the third quarter before Boston cut it down to 17 at the end of the quarter.

As I've stated before, LeBron James isn't by any means particularly young.

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