LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury

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LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 24, 2017 8:32 am

http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2017/05/lebron_james_credits_brad_stev.html



LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury




Posted on May 24, 2017 at 12:59 AM




2017 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Brad Stevens tips hat to Kyrie Irving,...



BY JAY KING




CLEVELAND -- The Boston Celtics cannot turn to their 5-foot-9 firecracker anymore, but have adapted to remain competitive -- or, rather, become competitive -- in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Since losing star guard Isaiah Thomas to injury, the Celtics have turned to more post-ups, fewer high pick-and-rolls, and some deft cutting to try to keep pace with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, Boston benefited from Marcus Smart's Game 3 ridiculousness, but built a double-digit Game 4 lead Tuesday night mostly with thoroughly solid play on both ends. The Celtics limited turnovers, handled the glass, and racked up assists on 17 of their first 21 buckets.

Even after overcoming the early margin to take down the Celtics, 112-99, LeBron James credited his opponent for pivoting to a new style in Thomas' absence. Specifically, James, who has never been shy about proclaiming his respect for Brad Stevens, directed praise at the Boston head coach.

"They run different things just because IT being a huge piece of the puzzle for them offensively," said James, whose Cavaliers lead Boston in the series, 3-1. "So they had to kind of reshape, and that's the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach. You're able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It's been challenging for us to kind of -- plays out of timeout, (they have) kind of been killing us on ATOs and keeping us off balance."


"It's a difficult challenge because our preparation going into the series was going against a team with Isaiah," James explained, "So now they're playing a lot differently now, so we're trying to figure out exactly what they're running and things of that nature, so it's been very difficult on us without IT on the floor, but now this is two games that we've been able to see them and we're going to get a better understanding. We should be a lot better in Game 5.

Stevens thought the first half of Game 4 might have been Boston's best in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Celtics, James and Kyrie Irving took turns doing star things throughout the second half; they broke through Boston's 10-point halftime advantage quickly and never stopped.

Still, they both credited the Celtics for a strong effort.

"They're well-coached, and they've got guys that's always kind of been counted out throughout their career, so they play with a lot of pride," James said. "And then you add the green on their back and this is history, this is a franchise that you kind of no matter who's out on the floor, you have to play for that franchise and play with pride. You know, they're giving us everything that they have, and we're expecting it, and we want the challenge. It's the postseason. At the end of the day, you just want to win the game. It doesn't matter who you're going against or how you get the job done, you're just trying to figure it out, and I think we did that. "



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bobheckler

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Re: LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury

Post by mrkleen09 on Wed May 24, 2017 9:28 am

Wow....a quote from Lebron that isnt about him. Very impressed, guy has really matured over last few years.

PS - he is still a jerk for the way he treated Cleveland on the way out the door, but people can change.
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Re: LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed May 24, 2017 11:33 am

Lebron knows his history and respects our franchise, how could he not?

We made him go to Miami, it was KG that gave him great advice telling him he wasted too many years in Minny, Lebron knows were going to be better and better real soon.
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Re: LeBron James credits Brad Stevens for reshaping Boston Celtics offense after Isaiah Thomas' injury

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