It was not as pretty as I expected but the Cleveland Cavaliers got the job done. This is definitely one of those instances where you have to roll with the adage "A win is a win."
Game 2 in the Cavs versus Celtics playoff series opened up just as, if not more, grueling for the home team. While we were all hoping that they would make adjustments from their Game 1 mistakes, the Cavs limped into the second game of the series much like they did the first.
The very first possession was a Kevin Love 3pt FG and LeBron James was credited with the assist. On the next Cleveland possession the offense executed perfectly and found Timofey Mozgov inside the paint after running a nice set. But at that point, things got a little tad rough.
Boston began the game moving and executing fairly well on their offensive end. After quickly falling behind 5-1, the Celtics responded to the Cavs' exciting start taking a 16- lead after a 15-3 run. Boston hit shots from inside, the perimeter and also got to the free-throw line during the early stretch. They executed quite well in the half-court throughout the majority of the first half.
I wish I had an explanation for the sporadic play of the Cavs but it baffles me as much as anyone. It's like they forget for brief moments they are the Cavs and do not know how to play well. Or it could be just that they know exactly who they are and get lazy resting on their ability to score quickly and in bunches.
It was Boston to who played more efficiently during the first two quarters but there were a lot of bright spots for the Cavs coming out of the half. JR Smith, who continued to struggle from the field, tallied his 5th steal with 9:52 left in the 3rd, matching high playoff and career high for a single game. That is a lot of defense for one man that EARLY in the game. Also, with still more than seven minutes left in the 3rd quarter had put together a quite the stat line posting 14pts (7/11 FGs) 6 rebs 5 blks. His defensive impact was probably the most underrated aspect in all of game 2.
I know I expected much more of the Cavs in the early going and I'm sure much of you did as well. These late starts will cost the team much more in future rounds. Complete games are going to be key as the Cavs advance. Late game success is necessary as well. So I'm hoping to see the Cavs tweak the early woes in future game but as long as they are winning games, there is only so much one can complain about. We will see what Thursday has to hold. It isn't the old Boston Garden but playing on the road in Boston is always a difficult task in the playoffs. I would not be surprised if the Celtics were able to edge out a win in game 3.
But its always #GoCavs #OATW and most definitely #CLEvelandOverEverything