So far in this series, the Celtics have utterly dominated the Cavs in every way. The Cavs have been completely outmatched physically, mentally and schematically. Boston has clearly looked like the better team. It took a 42 point triple-double performance from LeBron to keep this thing from being an even bigger blowout than their previous game.
Going into last night, we all knew there was no way the Cavs would shoot anywhere near as poorly as they did in Game 1. While, for the most part, that remained true, they still lacked offensive production from George Hill and were severely hindered by the play of JR Smith. As for the bench, besides Korver, this was yet another lackluster performance by the entire unit.
Out of all the areas where the Celtics have outperformed the Cavs, the coaching has been the largest mismatch. Ty Lue’s rotations have been downright laughable to this point. It’s become impossible to find any reason why the Cavs should continue to play Jeff Green or Rodney Hood, yet Lue has them in for some of the biggest moments of the game. When Lue was asked in his post-game press conference about why Hood is still in the rotation, his answer was basically “because I said so.”
From an individual talent-level standpoint, the Celtics are not the better team. What has separated Boston in this series has been their effort level, physicality and ability to utilize each other’s strengths through playing as a team. We saw a little bit of this type of play with the Pacers. For Boston, it all starts with Brad Stevens. The Celtics truly believe they can win this series and these first two games have backed that up.
It’s now up to the Cavs to match their intensity level. Boston has struggled on the road in these playoffs. The Cavs have to win these next two games at home if they want any chance of returning to the finals.