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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.


NBA Schedule: Saturday, May 19

7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers; Boston leads series 2-0


NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Schedule and Predictions

Eastern Conference

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


Western Conference

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

BOSTON, MA - MAY 15: Kyle Korver #26 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: U

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

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.

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.  

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