By: Kylan Watson
The Cleveland Cavaliers were riding high after stomping the Toronto Raptors in five games, they had a few days off to relax, before facing the Boston Celtics in Game 1 on Sunday. However, the Cavaliers must have left their skills in Cleveland because they were trounced by the Celtics in Game 1, by a score of 108-83. The Cavaliers will need a big-time performance from LeBron James and a better performance on the defensive end, if they hope to rebound from a disastrous start and avoid going down 2-0 against the Celtics.
The Cavaliers offense did not show-up at all in Game 1. They could not get many wide-open shots, because of their lack of ball movement and insistence on playing isolation basketball. The Cavs offensive inconsistency caused them to be down by 26-points heading into half-time. That margin was too big for the Cavs to overcome.
The Celtics on the other hand could not miss from the opening tip-off. As a team they hit 11 three-pointers and had a big advantage in the paint. The two players who benefitted from the Celtics hot shooting were Guard, Jaylen Brown and Center Al Horford.
Brown scored a game-high 23-points and grabbed eight rebounds. Horford also had a huge game and was a force in the paint. He made his first five shots and scored 20-points, grabbed four rebounds, and had six assists.
The Cavs had no answer for either Horford or Brown and both players scored a combined 43-points which helped the Celtics gain momentum and get a victory in Game 1.
The Cavaliers must find a way to be better on the defensive end of the ball. They gave up way too many open-shots to the Celtics. The Cavs were always a step late on defensive rotations and the Celtics took full advantage of their lack of defensive prowess.
The Cavaliers will need a big-time performance from LeBron James and a better performance on the defensive end if they want to avoid being down 2-0 in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. James will also need to get help from his teammates. The Celtics were able to shut James down in Game 1 and dare somebody else to beat them. No other player on the Cavs stepped up to help James.
Game 2 is a must win for the Cavaliers because the Celtics are unbeaten at home and its going to take a perfect performance from the Cavs on both sides of the ball to beat the Celtics in Boston.