LeBron James is on the verge of reaching the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals for an eighth successive season, but his Cleveland Cavaliers face a familiar and formidable force in the Boston Celtics. He's seen us have to play against all kinds of different styles. During the regular season, only Jaylen Brown logged more matchups (56) than Morris (55) against James, according to Second Spectrum data.
"A lot of people don't understand, IN was good, man". The Pacers held a third-quarter lead in Cleveland in Game 7 before falling, 105-101.
James wouldn;t narrow down who the Celtics' "head of the snake" is.
First, James owns the Raptors. In fact, Game 1 tips off tomorrow afternoon.
Rozier, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, has been on James' radar since the Celtics guard was in high school.
"What excites me the most is probably that this is what we dreamed of", he said Saturday.
James hit on several of the Celtics' key contributors. After coming off the bench during last year's conference finals, Brown is now a starter and will be counted on more than he's used to.
James had 42, 33, 45, 38 and 35 points in the five games against the Celtics a year ago during the playoffs, and they are expecting him to generate plenty of production this time around, too. While they may dare him to shoot, shutting Green down on the glass and in the passing lanes, while also neutralizing him on the defensive end, is of paramount importance to Houston's success in this series.
The damage James did to the Big 3 or Big 4 era is why Boston is on the list. Morris thinks he can defend the king just fine. James is at his most risky when he's using his entire tool set to beat an opponent.
Of course, the Celtics understand full well why they are underdogs in this series, particularly with the way James is playing and the relative ease with which these Cavaliers swept through top-seeded Toronto in Round 2. Coincidentally, his first stay in Cleveland ended in 2010 with a playoff loss to the Celtics. "It's nothing against the defense", said Terry Rozier. The Cleveland Cavaliers are allowing 35.8 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.5 rebounds per game. Plus, Boston excels at defending the 3-pointer, which should help neutralize both Korver and Smith. In those six wins - which include Cavaliers victories in the first round in 2015 and the conference finals in "17 - James averaged 34.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists".
Though 76ers fans had to put up with four straight years of tanking, the Celtics have made the playoffs for four straight seasons and improved each time. And then they got through the conference semifinals with relative ease.
It has been quite the run for the Boston Celtics. That Brad Stevens guy can also coach a bit. Stevens will get Baynes on the floor against Thompson. If that's considered slowing James down for Leonard, then Morris will have a lot of work cut out for him.
And that highlights Boston's biggest matchup advantage - Stevens vs. Lue. One guy (is) going to have a tough time trying to stop LeBron James.
Though oddsmakers view the Cavs as pretty heavy favorites to beat the Celtics, oddsmakers don't give Cleveland all that much of a shot at winning its second title in four years.