But it would have been hard to predict what happened next: Not just a Celtics win in what had been a tightly contested series with all kinds of momentum shifts, but a victory earned in large measure due to the efforts of their son Kelly, coming off the bench for Boston and delivering one of the greatest Game 7 performances by a non-starter in National Basketball Association history.
"I just think that they were the more aggressive team with more energy, and they got us down from the beginning", said Celtics center Al Horford, who had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Kevin Love absolutely burned the Celtics in Game 1. He took my phone, looked at it, then sent me to Love, still icing his feet at his locker. "With a team like that, the defending champions, you can't let them hit first".
Cleveland may come out a bit more relaxed in game 2 and the Celtics could pull out a win, signalling that the series may be hard on both teams in the long haul. "I knew I wouldn't feel that great after the game, and I don't feel that great right now".
If the Cavaliers want to look for something positive to take from Boston's futile rally, it's that they'll take the Celtics seriously in Game 2 on May 19.More news: 4 automakers agree to $553M settlement of Takata airbag claims
"I have to be in attack mode, just put the pressure on the defense, see what happens. They're not on 'Space Jam, '" Thomas said. "For me, the only thing on my mind is how we can execute the best way we can and get a bucket in this possession, either if I can get myself a shot or if I can drive, get my shooters a shot, or if I can get a double-team in the paint or get to the free throw line". By that point, James had already amassed 23 points and had either scored or assisted on 32 of Cleveland's first half points. It's not an individual matchup for me, no matter who is in front of me. Cleveland is too talented, too experienced, too good to spot 20-some odd points in the first half and have any shot of coming back to win. "We need some of those things, so I would expect him to continue to play a large role for us in this series". "And whatever guys are doing, we try to ride the hot hand and everyone else will fill in". We're not old, we're young in comparison to a lot of our competition. Thomas went hard trying to stop James on the attempt, but couldn't get much higher than The King's stomach on the jump.
"We got to cheer and high-five and there was lots of excitement obviously for the Celtics and obviously for Kelly as everyone there was very close with him", said Ken, a former national team player and coach and now the athletics director at Thompson Rivers University. They finished the game at 48.1 percent. Yeah, I didn't think he could get any better after that, but he is.
"This is a flawless roster with regard to how many predicaments they can put you in with all the shooting".
LeBron James scored 38 points and Kevin Love scored 32 with 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which led by 22 at the half and extended it to 28 points in the third quarter. "We take those little layups out and a couple turnovers that led to easy baskets for them and we blow that game open". "You've just got to keep playing".