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The Boston Celtics are not afraid of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After going up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference final, they’ve shown that much and more.
They may not be scared of the moment, but how exactly are they beating the reigning Eastern Conference champs?
Is Tyronn Lue right? Are the Celtics overachieving in the postseason because they are “gooning the game up”?
Whether it’s their hard-nosed play or not, Boston is on a roll, and it remains to be seen if Cleveland can turn things around now that Game 3 will be on their home court at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mike Petraglia @Trags
CELTICS TOUGHER: Ty Lue says #Celtics are “gooning it up” against his #Cavs. They’re the “tougher” team right now https://t.co/70ep6TJszl
NBA Schedule: Saturday, May 19
7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers; Boston leads series 2-0
Celtics 108 – Cavaliers 83 (Game 1): Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Celtics 107 – Cavaliers 94 (Game 2): Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Boston at Cleveland (Game 3): Saturday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Boston at Cleveland (Game 4): Monday, May 21 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Cleveland at Boston (Game 5, if necessary): Wednesday, May 23 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Boston at Cleveland (Game 6, if necessary): Friday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Cleveland at Boston (Game 7, if necessary): Sunday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Golden State 119 – Houston 106 (Game 1): Monday at 9 p.m. on TNT
Golden State 105 – Houston 127 (Game 2): Wednesday at 9 p.m. on TNT
Houston at Golden State (Game 3): Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. on TNT
Houston at Golden State (Game 4): Tuesday, May 22 at 9 p.m. on TNT
Golden State at Houston (Game 5, if necessary): Thursday, May 24 at 9 p.m. on TNT
Houston at Golden State (Game 6, if necessary): Saturday, May 26 at 9 p.m. on TNT
Golden State at Houston (Game 7, if necessary): Monday, May 28 at 9 p.m. on TNT
The Others Get a Boost at Home
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LeBron James has done his part.
In two games against the Boston Celtics, he’s averaging close to a triple double with 28.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game.
But James has had little help, if any.
His No. 2, Kevin Love, has been adequate, putting up 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per outing, but he’s the only one even remotely offering any assistance.
J.R. Smith served up a goose egg in Game 2, finishing with zero points and one bush-league flagrant foul on Al Horford.
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
The Celtics lead a best-of-7 series 2-0 for the 38th time in team history. They have yet to lose one of those series.
If the Cavs want to get back in this series, they’ll need players like Smith, George Hill, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood and Jeff Green to make significant contributions in the scoring column.
In addition to putting points on the board, Cleveland’s others will have to start doing some “gooning” of their own.
They’ll need to match Boston’s toughness and get gritty.
“We’ve got to be tougher, mentally and physically,” Lue told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We’ve got to come out swinging. We’ve got to be aggressive. I think we’ve got to be physical, and we’ve got to have a physical mindset, you know, that they’re coming in, playing tough. They’re aggressive, and we’ve got to match that.”
According to ESPN Stats & Info, James wins Game 3 and 4 when he’s down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
That bodes well for the Cavs’ goal to turns thing around.