During the 2017-18 NBA season, the Boston Celtics have performed better than the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is an objective fact.
Although LeBron James is easily the first person in the Eastern Conference Finals, Cs head coach Brad Stevens was forced to remix his lineup over and over again to account for the myriad of rotators' injuries (Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart , Daniel Theis, etc.), the number 2 of the East has always proved to be a superior outfit. His 3.7 Network rating during the regular season lagged behind only the scores produced by the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors, the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers while the Cavs (1.0) fell all the way back to 13th place.
Game 1 of this penultimate round related a similar story, with Boston using a massive 21-2 run in the first quarter to gain a gaping advantage on the way to a 108-83 victory. At no point in the opening conflict did the Cavaliers, even with James on the ground, like the Moloch, who should have been a series earlier against the Toronto Raptors.
Except Cleveland, apparently, was the darling for the contest.  BOSTON, MA – MAY 13: Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James # 23 treats the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals Eastern Conference finals on May 13, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston , Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: “/>
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Boston only needed five games to ship the talent-laden Philadelphia 76ers. It had not lost a single match on his parquet floor against the Sixers or the Milwaukee Bucks, their athletic, but undisciplined opponents of the first round. And even though he was playing at home in front of a noisy crowd that James was playing every time he touched the rock in the first quarter, the Celtics were a one-point outsider at the opening tip, according to OddsShark.com. E ven FiveThirtyEight's CARM-Elo model gave the northeastern Ohio officials a 60 percent chance of reaching the final.
To be fair, the reasoning is not so difficult to grasp.
Although Cleveland's goal from Toronto was closer than 4-0, it might indicate this at first (see: Overtime victory in Game 1 and Wonderful Summer Bat in Game 3), it seemed to be this proverbial corner In particular, the non-James members of the roster. While the Celtics squeeze out tons of names from non-domestic names like Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Cavs' roster is still the best player in the world. And he's a player who does not even lack self-confidence, even in the face of a street game in the garden:
Joe Vardon @ joevardon
LeBron James: "Listen, it does not matter if I have six seeds or having three seeds or two seeds, eight seeds, it is important to me, if I come into your building for a game 1, I can be very challenging. "- Among my favorite LeBron quotes, always
But the Celtics did not take long to prove that the alleged status of cavaliers as favorites was a misnomer. They had already exploded for 34 points in the first quarter before Tatum, their top scorer in the playoffs, dropped a floater off the left baseline for his first points of play and extended the lead to 36-18.
The Cavs were only able to collect 35 points in the first half.
Boston will not always drill 61.9 percent of its field goal attempts, as it did in the first quarter. It will not only spin the ball three times in half, as was the case in the opening game of this penultimate series. But Cleveland makes it hard to expect anything else.
The defense discipline is still not there and that was the case throughout the campaign. So we do not forget, Cleveland has ended the regular season No. 29 in points allowed per 100 possessions, and it was only the 10. Best defense in the playoffs. This lack of pre-eminence was on Sunday afternoon when the Cavs inexplicably left shooters on the tip of the key, did not recognize the backdoor cuts and helped off of a man against Boston's swarm of shooters, sometimes even missed, Brown in the corner, so that they could help against Al Horford. BOSTON, MA – MAY 13: Jaylen Brown # 7 The Boston Celtics shoots the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game of one of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2018 NBA playoffs on May 13, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. INSTRUCTIONS FOR USER: “/>