POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

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POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by 112288 on Thu May 25, 2017 11:09 pm

Kyrie Irving, LeBron James lead rout in elimination of Celtics, set up Finals rematch with Warriors

WEEI

By Mike Petraglia  
There would be no magical comeback on this night. There would be no slow start from LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. There would be only complete domination from start to finish by the defending NBA champions and an end to the Celtics upstart playoff run.

Kyrie Irving opened the third quarter with three bullseyes from beyond the arc as part of his 24-point performance while James added 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Cavaliers past the Celtics, 135-102, Thursday night at TD Garden in Game 5 of the Eastern finals. The Cavaliers win the series, 4-1, and advance to meet the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals starting June 1 in Oakland. It is the first time in NBA history that two teams will meet for three straight seasons. The two rivals have split the previous two encounters.

The Celtics were outscored by 13, 44 and 33 points in the most lopsided series of home losses in the Celtics playoff history.

The start of the game was a continuation of the 44-point destruction in the last game played in Boston. For the third time in five games, Kevin Love opened the contest with a three. Marcus Smart responded to tied the game at 3. It would be the only time Boston would be tied the rest of the night. Love’s turnaround hook shot with 93 seconds into the game gave Cleveland the lead for good, 5-3.  

The Celtics looked horrid while the Cavaliers looked like a team that wanted no part of a Game 6 back in Cleveland.

Kelly Olynyk’s airball on a three led to a J.R. Smith leak out, dunk and timeout from Brad Stevens. Four minutes later, LeBron James put a move on Al Horford and drove to the basket for a dunk, triggering the second timeout of the quarter from Stevens. It was 28-12 and the rout was in full throttle.

In between the Olynyk airball and the LeBron dunk, the Celtics had three turnovers, a missed Avery Bradley layup and blocks from James and Tristan Thompson.

Down 19-10 after two free throws from Thompson, the crowd that battled through horrific traffic outside began chanting “Let’s Go Celtics”.

A three-point play from Kyrie Irving with 2:45 left, the Celtics trailed 37-16, bringing the score to 167-102 Cleveland in the last five quarters of basketball in Boston going back to the start of Game 2.

The Celtics made a mini-run to cut the lead to 37-22. But James hit a 19-foot fallaway as the shot clock was expiring and Irving drained a three for a 43-23 Cleveland advantage. The Celtics closed it to 43-27 at the end of the first quarter. Cleveland’s 43 points fell just two shy of the all-time NBA playoff record for most points in an opening period, set in 1985 by the Lakers and matched by three others since.

(For a full box score, click here).

The second quarter started off on a promising note as the Celtics cut the lead to 13 on a Jae Crowder three-point play. But the Cavaliers responded with a 16-6 run to build a 23-point lead at 59-36. The half again appeared to end on a positive note for the Celtics as Avery Bradley scored six straight points to cut the lead to 73-57.

But the Cavaliers scored a basket on a goaltending call on Al Horford that caused Brad Stevens to flail angrily on the sidelines. The Cavs took a 75-57 lead to the locker room at the half. The 75 points marked a franchise playoff record for the Cavs while the 75 points were the most in a playoff game since May 9, 2003 when the Mavericks scored 83 against Sacramento in Game 2 of the Western semifinals.

Irving nailed a three in the face of Crowder to open the third quarter and another two minutes later to extend Cleveland’s lead to 83-61. Irving hit his third triple of the opening four minutes of the half to extend the Cavaliers to an 86-63 lead. James drove to the basket uncontested with 6:38 left in the third to put the Cavaliers up, 90-65, sending fans to the exits.

One sequence said it all in the third quarter. Irving flew in for an offensive rebound, dished to LeBron for a one-handed slam. That was followed by a muscle flex to the VIPs under the Celtics basket. One possession later, J.R. Smith canned a three from the right wing and it was 95-65. The Cavaliers closed the third quarter ahead, 109-74 as fans began taking photos with Brian Scalabrine in the media section before heading for the exits.

Most of the starters came out of the game with eight minutes left and the Cavaliers up 39 points, 115-76.

As the game ended, the crowd gave the Celtics a standing ovation amidst “Let’s Go Celtics” chants.
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Celtics season comes to an end with Game 5 loss to Cavs

CSNNE

By A. Sherrod Blakely May 25, 2017 10:55 PM

BOSTON – The final horn sounded and for the second time in three years, the Celtics faithful saw their team’s season end at the TD Garden at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But this was different.

Two years ago, the Celtics were just lucky to be on the floor with the Cavaliers who had no problem sweeping them out of the postseason.

This time, things were different.

Cleveland had their way with Boston, but had to work harder – much harder – than they did a couple years ago.

And that more than anything else, is clear and undeniable evidence that the Celtics are on the come-up even after their season ended with a 135-102 Game 5 drubbing.

They lost the series four games to one, most of which were played without their most dynamic player, Isaiah Thomas (hip) who came into the postseason as the top scorer in the Eastern Conference.

Boston did lots of good things in this series, but it served as a reminder that the Celtics aren’t quite ready for the bright lights and big-game performances needed consistently this time of the year to win.

LeBron James’ reign in the NBA is far from over, but it’s clear as day that the Celtics are positioning themselves to be one of the favorites to eventually unseat the Cavs.

Boston’s regular season record (53-29) was the best in Brad Stevens’ four years on the job, good enough to go into the postseason with the top overall seed.

But as we saw time after time after time, regular season records mean little if it comes void of the superstars most of the elite teams have in waves.

The Cleveland Cavaliers did as expected in eliminating the Boston Celtics and in doing so, move on to the NBA Finals for the third straight season where they will face a well-rested Golden State Warriors club.

Celtics Nation serenaded the players as they walked off the floor who were disappointed but should have walked off with heads held high.

Why?

Because in the end, they gave the fans exactly what they wanted – everything they had to offer.

And for most of this season, it was good enough to not just compete but win a lot of games that few outside of the Celtics’ payroll anticipated would result in a victory.

In Cleveland, the Celtics ran into the ultimate buzzsaw.

Not only were the defending champions playing their best basketball in the playoffs, but they were healthy both mentally and physically – something they could not lay claim to during several stretches during the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Celtics dealt with injuries throughout the season.

There were the usual bumps and bruises.

And then there was Isaiah Thomas’ right hip injury which he played through after re-aggravating it at the end of Boston’s second-round series with Washington.

But it proved to be too much for him to deal with which led to the Celtics shutting him down for the playoffs at halftime of Game 2.

Boston managed to win Game 3 and had opportunities galore to get Game 4 only to come up short in large part because they didn’t have an offensive closer – a player who could fill the void left by Thomas’ absence.

In Game 5, the Cavaliers managed to find areas to exploit most of the first half as they pulled ahead to dominate the action.

And the Celtics, a team that without Thomas relies heavily on ball movement, timely cuts to the basket and the need to knock down open shots, simply failed to once again take advantage of the opportunities – and there weren’t many – the Cavs afforded them.

Game 5 had the look and feel of Games 1 and 2, when Cleveland came into the TD Garden and had their way with the Celtics with a pair of wins by a combined 57 points.

Cleveland began Thursday night’s game with a 28-12 run, capped off by an emphatic dunk by LeBron James who blew past Terry Rozier.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens called his second time-out of the quarter, a clear sign of his concern – and justifiably so – that the game could quickly get out of hand as was the case in the first two games.

And with more than two minutes to play, the Cavaliers had a commanding 36-26 lead after a Kyrie Irving lay-up in which he was fouled by Rozier.

Cleveland continued to pull away in the second and third quarters as Boston’s defense showed little resistance.

And when they did, the Cavs just went around and over them, resulting in an overwhelming performance that Boston had no answer for, home court or not.

It was another beatdown at the hands of the Cavs, but there was a different vibe following this one.

Two years ago, there was no telling what the loss meant to a Celtics team that at the time, was lucky to be in the playoffs.

This season, there was no luck at all in Boston being one of the last four teams with games on the docket.

They deserved to have this opportunity, one that’s likely to come around a few more times in the near future as Boston continues to strengthen a young core with more talent and experiences like what they went through during this Conference Finals against Cleveland.

112288


Last edited by 112288 on Thu May 25, 2017 11:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by 112288 on Thu May 25, 2017 11:16 pm

One step forward...........3 steps back!

God awful ..............I thought we had a lock down defense? Thought we had a coach and coaching staff to figure out a game plan to at least make it close.

Except for a hand full of players, Danny needs to do a major overhaul.

Very disappointing.

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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by bobc33 on Fri May 26, 2017 12:00 am

The most important aspect of this series in my estimation?

Jaylen Brown spent a decent amount of time matched up against LeBron James. On the defensive end I thought he did as good a job as anyone slowing him down (a tiny bit) and making him work for his points. On the offensive end a few times he took it to LeBron and LeBron appeared to have him measured, but Jaylen avoided him and scored the buckets.

I expect him to take away how hard he needs to work to improve, but more importantly I expect him to take the floor next year with the confidence that he belongs on the court going up against anyone in the NBA. It probably will be at least two more years of seasoning to truly blossom, but next season I'm expecting big things on a more consistent basis from him.

I can't wait.
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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by cowens/oldschool on Fri May 26, 2017 2:26 am

bobc33 wrote:The most important aspect of this series in my estimation?

Jaylen Brown spent a decent amount of time matched up against LeBron James.  On the defensive end I thought he did as good a job as anyone slowing him down (a tiny bit) and making him work for his points.  On the offensive end  a few times he took it to LeBron and LeBron appeared to have him measured, but Jaylen avoided him and scored the buckets.

I expect him to take away how hard he needs to work to improve, but more importantly I expect him to take the floor next year with the confidence that he belongs on the court going up against anyone in the NBA.  It probably will be at least two more years of seasoning to truly blossom, but next season I'm expecting big things on a more consistent basis from him.

I can't wait.


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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by kdp59 on Fri May 26, 2017 7:18 am

bobc33 wrote:The most important aspect of this series in my estimation?

Jaylen Brown spent a decent amount of time matched up against LeBron James.  On the defensive end I thought he did as good a job as anyone slowing him down (a tiny bit) and making him work for his points.  On the offensive end  a few times he took it to LeBron and LeBron appeared to have him measured, but Jaylen avoided him and scored the buckets.

I expect him to take away how hard he needs to work to improve, but more importantly I expect him to take the floor next year with the confidence that he belongs on the court going up against anyone in the NBA.  It probably will be at least two more years of seasoning to truly blossom, but next season I'm expecting big things on a more consistent basis from him.

I can't wait.

which makes the idea of bringing in another SF puzzling to me. WHy spend max dollars on Hayward or trade for Butler or George if you really think Jaylen can live up to beiing the #3 pick?

what we need are two big men (Sorry Horford, but your overall first season here showed me that you ARE a soft and over paid player) with some size and balls.

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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by gyso on Fri May 26, 2017 8:26 am

kdp,

Maybe stocking up a little extra at the 3 position with players that can also play up or down a position in certain situations is the way to go in today's NBA.  Crowder is still relatively inexpensive, Brown will be for years, so spending big-time for another averages out.

Combo guards that can both pass the ball with great court vision and shoot the ball at a steady clip from range also spread one player across two positions.  Perhaps Fultz can be that guy.

Likewise, a big that can shoot all the way out to the three point line on one end as well as be the last line of defense on the other end is another player who can play two positions.  We have Horford as a starter for that.  We also have Olynyk coming off the bench that can do the prior, not so much of the latter.

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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

Post by worcester on Fri May 26, 2017 8:54 am

Bobc, totally agree on Jaylen's upside.
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Re: POST GAME CLEVELAND - HOME - ROUND #3 - GAME #5

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