Boston Celtics: Marcus Morris doing it on both ends

Boston Celtics: Marcus Morris doing it on both ends

In Sunday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics, LeBron James had an outing to forget.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, right, looks to make a move against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston.

In the end, James still had an incredible overall showing, going for 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for a triple-double.

The Celtics feel they are a much different team than the one that trudged into last year's conference finals matchup with Cleveland still toting the emotional baggage of helping teammate Isaiah Thomas cope with the death of his sister. Veteran Al Horford continued his terrific play in the 2018 playoffs, delivering 20 points and 6 assists in the series opener.

After the game, James still projected confidence, saying, "I have zero level of concern at this stage". He has no weakness on either end of the floor, and his defense was the primary reason why Love shot a subpar 5-of-14 from the field in Game 1.

Given his past, it's never a good idea to poke the sleeping bear that is LeBron James.

A reporter had asked James how the Celtics managed to pull off a quick seven points against the Cavs in the fourth quarter when he gave his play-by-play breakdown. The Celtics jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter and held it through to the final buzzer. He dominated in Cleveland's Game 2 win, dropping 46 points on 17-for-24 shooting.

Just as the Cavaliers rapidly rose to contender status with James on the roster, they could become a nonfactor just as quickly if the multi-time league MVP heads to Philadelphia.

"We weighed it before the series started, but we'd won seven out of eight and we weren't going to adjust until someone beat us and we didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point", Lue said. "He's the guy we really, really lean on".

Marcus Smart has an uncanny ability to fight through picks and stay attached to the offensive player's body, while Jaylen Brown's athleticism and length allow him a greater margin for error.

Well, historically, James, after a bad game, comes back with a big bang in the next.

Given up for dead after losing Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to season-ending injuries, the Celtics continue to exceed expectations, resuscitating the season the same efficient way they recycle possessions. If he keeps up his two-way punch, the Celtics would be well on their way to gaining a 2-0 series lead and putting the pressure on the Cavs.

It looks like Cleveland will make their big lineup change by inserting Tristan Thompson into the starting lineup in Game 2, but we should listen to Stevens: the biggest adjustments for Cleveland will come from No. 23.

And so, you ended up watching him giving you the worst watch of James's caged life.

Smith also got an earful from the crowd in Boston, which peppered him with an obscene chant for quite some time.

This marked the 15th time in James' illustrious career that his team has dropped the first game of a postseason series.

While he usually plays much better at home than on the road, Rozier was a bit of a no-show in Game 1.