Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: On LeBron James' fadeaway, Boston Celtics' resurgence - Bill Livingston


He said: "Personally, I think I'm probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi [Leonard]".

It's a lot to ask, but the Celtics have surprised the first two rounds.

"That's one of the things he said when I first got here, that I was one of the guys they felt as though could guard LeBron", Morris said. "My thing is just cut down the easy baskets. But that was definitely one of the major points that he brought up when getting me here".

While there's nothing wrong with exuding confidence, it's hard to find any numbers that would back up that argument as he gets prepared to battle the NBA's gold standard.

Speaking earlier this week, TNT "Inside the NBA" analyst Charles Barkley said Morris and team-mate Marcus Smart were the Celtics' best options to stop James. However, each team looks drastically different this time around than it did last postseason. The truth of the matter - which the C's understand - is that James will get his. At home, Rozier averages 22 points per game on 47% shooting, while on the road he only holds averages of 13 points per game on a staggering 34% shooting.

The difference is how hard they make James, and his teammates, work for it.

Houston's James Harden seems like the probable victor of the NBA's MVP award this season, with the only other realistic candidate for top honors probably LeBron James. That the series was over in four games was a big surprise. "And for a team with younger guys, I think has been great for them". He looked very confident. And there was no help. "I don't see that".

"We're coming. You would be a fool to count us out of anything", Morris told NBC Sports Boston after the Celtics eliminated the Sixers last round.

Let the band play on, starting with the Rolling Stones' 1964 hit "Not Fade Away."That refers to the Boston Celtics' fondest defensive hope in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, starting Sunday afternoon, as they face LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the newest tool in James' kit.The faderThat is an unstoppable, untoppable, unblockable fadeaway jump shot, taken from a position so laid back a hammock should be its ultimate landing zone".

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Meanwhile, James isn't buying into the chatter about how his squad will overwhelm the Celtics.

The Celtics were the best defense in the National Basketball Association this season, and they have a lot of athletic and versatile players that will take their try at James.

Though 76ers fans had to put up with four straight years of tanking, the Celtics have made the playoffs for four straight seasons and improved each time.

"Doubling him", Stevens said of James, "he is going to get a 3 for his team if you don't double perfectly". He has made 53.1 percent of his shots, with majority coming from inside the arc.

"I just think that this time of year, we have a really good team, and we're really balanced, and we have a good chance to keep competing and advancing", said backup guard Fred VanVleet. The force at which he drives is like LeBron.

"I spent a lot of time with him (Thursday)", said Coach Brad Stevens of Irving. "Guys like [Joel] Embiid and [Ben] Simmons present unique challenges".

But the Cavaliers will have LeBron James, and that's nearly always enough.

Toronto had played a lung-busting 14 games in 2016 before they finally met the Cavs, who'd had eight days between series to rest and rehabilitate. It's been that way since Gordon Hayward was injured on opening night of the regular season in Cleveland.

"In the playoffs we know there is a lot of physicality".