Posted on May 20, 2017, by Travis Pulver
There was little doubt over who would win the Eastern Conference Finals before the series started. Heck—before the season started there was little doubt. With how the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the Boston Celtics in Game One, one thing became painfully clear to Celtics fans. It would take a minor miracle for their team to win.
Following the destruction that was Game Two, it is probably safe to say it will take more than a minor miracle for the Celtics to win a game let alone the series.
To say it was bad would not do the level of domination the Cavaliers impressed upon the Celtics justice. Cleveland did so much more than just dominate them. They embarrassed the Celtics so bad the whole team is likely scarred for life.
After one-quarter it was bad, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome (32-18). But it got worse. Cleveland didn’t slow down in the second quarter, but the Celtics did. When JR Smith hit a buzzer-beater to end the first half, the Cavaliers took a 41-point lead (72-31) into the break—a new postseason record.
No one was having a good night for the Celtics, least of all Isaiah Thomas. The team’s superstar only took six shots from the floor and did not make a single one. To make matters even worse for Boston fans, Thomas did not play in the second half due to a hip strain.
While the Celtics were forced to play without their best player, with the Cavaliers letting off the gas, they were able to make the game appear a little more competitive. But they were not able to make a dent in the deficit. They ended the first half down by 41 points and the game down by 44 points, 130-86.
“It was honestly just embarrassing,” Celtics guard Avery Bradley said after the game. “They came out not only playing harder, they knocked down shots, and I think that made it that much worse.”
As could be expected, LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 30 points, four rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and three blocks. Kyrie Irving chipped in 23 points, and Kevin Love recorded another double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The only thing the Cavaliers did not do well was shoot free throws (15-23). Otherwise, they shot well from the floor (48-85; 56.5 percent) and from behind the arc (19-39; 48.7 percent).
Before Game Two, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens made it clear he knew the enormity of the task his team was facing:
“You have to realize that they’re outstanding,” Stevens said (USAToday). “They put you in a bad matchup almost every time down the floor, and they’re great at it…. That’s what makes it really difficult. You’re always accounting for all those shooters on the floor, and yet there is a real ability of that team to pick you apart in isolation.”
He’s going to have his hands full trying to figure out how to make them less outstanding when the series moves to Cleveland for Game Three on Sunday at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.