Brad Stevens: Celtics might risk double-teaming LeBron James

2:04 AM ET


BOSTON — After examination Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James fragment his team’s invulnerability during Game 1 of a Eastern Conference finals, Boston Celtics manager Brad Stevens pronounced James has continued to urge his play in new years and that there are no apparent answers on how to delayed him down.

James erupted for 38 points on 14-of-24 sharpened and combined 9 rebounds and 7 assists in 42 mins of play during Cleveland’s 117-104 win during TD Garden. James accounted for 55 of a 105 points a Cavaliers put adult while he was on a court, possibly by scoring or dishing assists.

The Celtics couldn’t delayed James when he pounded a basket. He generated a postseason career-high 26 points in a paint and, according to ESPN Stats and Info, shot 81.2 percent in a paint. Twenty of those points in a paint came in a initial half, when a Cavaliers built a gentle lead.

LeBron, Cavaliers open East finals by shutting down Celtics

With LeBron James winning inside early and Kevin Love concealment a playoff high in scoring, a Cavs rolled in Game 1 opposite a East No. 1 seed.

“[James] finished it transparent — it was unequivocally transparent — that he was perplexing to get to a edge on us no matter who was on him,” Stevens said.

Celtics brazen Jae Crowder pronounced Boston needs to do a improved pursuit of creation James cruise twice before driving.

“Obviously, he’s a good scorer, and when he gets going downhill, he only has to see bodies,” Crowder said. “I have to do a improved pursuit of being adult to hold on him, being on a ball, creation it tough for him. But he has to see bodies behind me. We have to do a improved pursuit of display assistance early, afterwards removing out and swelling out to a shooters so they won’t be a cause in a game.

“We’ll watch film and try to adjust to it and give him a opposite look, obviously. He got gentle with what we were doing on a defensive end, and he had his way. So we’ve got to switch it adult and come with a opposite diversion plan.”

The Celtics attempted mixed defenders on James via a night, including large group Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk. Boston perceived some of a many desirous invulnerability opposite James from rookie Jaylen Brown, who suggested he wasn’t tender by going opposite a star like James.

“It was only personification basketball,” Brown said. “He laces his boots adult like we edging cave up. Coming out, personification basketball and perplexing to make it tough for him. we feel that’s my job.”

Told that Horford had suggested Brown competence merit some-more personification time relocating forward, Brown pronounced he’d be prepared for anything.

“If Coach tells me, I’m going to be prepared to ensure whoever,” Brown said. “If it’s a waterboy, I’m guarding him, too. It doesn’t matter to me.”

James did most of his repairs Wednesday night operative opposite singular coverage. Stevens certified that Boston competence have to cruise some-more double teams, as unsure as that can be opposite Cleveland.

“Doubling is unequivocally frightful opposite these guys, though it competence be necessary,” Stevens said. “The maze is, do we double and risk giving adult those easy step-in 3s and a rebounds? Or do we try to stay during home and do a best we can and make them make a tough shot? It’s all easier pronounced than done, though we’ve got to figure out a best entrance quickly.”

Stevens and Crowder remarkable how James’ high basketball IQ and justice prophesy make him generally dangerous to stop, quite when he generates open looks for teammates. Kevin Love finished with 32 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 6 3-pointers.

“I’ve always been so tender with his mental bargain of a diversion and a approach that he communicates and his insights and a approach that he reads invulnerability and offense and all else,” Stevens said. “He’s always picking a matchup that he wants. we only pronounced in a coaches’ assembly right before we left: It’s tough to believe, though he’s improved than when we got into a league. A lot better. Just as we get older, we benefit some-more experiences, we see some-more things.

“I didn’t cruise he could get any improved after that, though he is. He’s a good player. Great player.”

The frightful partial for Boston is that James suggested a Cavaliers competence be able of an even improved performance.

Said James: “I don’t even cruise we played that good tonight.”


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