I’ve had 12 hours to process the unabashed beat-down the Cavs handed the Celtics last night, and the main question I’m sure most NBA fans have can be found in the title to my piece. And let me answer this for you – the answer is yes. And here’s why you should watch.
- The Celtics will win Game 2.
- Mark this down as the night Celtics fans irrationally believed in their underdogs against the PED-machine, Lebron James (hot-take alert. I’m kidding obviously, but it’s not human what he’s doing). In terms of pure atmosphere, the Garden-crowd will be worth tuning in for the lone Celtics victory in this series. There is nothing like a Boston crowd that believes in the little guy, and boy do we love our little guy.
- Marcus Smart will cover Tristan Thompson. And it could be epic.
- I was watching the first half with one of my basketball players last night and within the first minute I said, “You will not see Amir Johnson in this series again. Marcus Smart is the only guy tough enough to box Thompson out.” Fast forward to the 3rd quarter and Stevens made this adjustment, and I think this will continue at the start of Game 2. Thompson and Lebron’s physicality sucked the life out of the city last night. And if it’s not at the start, then it will be a strategy used throughout the rest of this series. Marcus cannot defend skilled bigs with brute force (as we saw when Kevin Love worked him), but he can defend brute force no matter the size. He’s the toughest dude on the Celtics and will love the challenge. Thompson will have his moments, but he will not have the same effect he did in Game 1.
- Jaylen Brown will be in Lebron’s head
- I texted die-hard Boston sports guy Matt Liptak last night the following: Watch Jaylen in this series versus Lebron. You wuill be surprised at how well he matches up with Lebron’s athleticism. Game 1 showed why Jaylen was the #3 pick last year. The kid is going to be really good. He has Kobe Bryant athleticism, and when he gets going, he can really change the game with it. Lebron will figure him out eventually, but Jaylen is the only guy who Lebron thinks twice about. You can see it in Lebron’s body language. His decisions aren’t as quick or decisive because he hasn’t found Jaylen’s defensive weakness yet, and to be honest Jaylen’s weakness is not Lebron’s strength. Jaylen gets lost in roations and chasing people off screens. Lebron is ball-dominant and Jaylen loves on-ball assignments. Lebron can still find the switches he wants, but Game 2 won’t be the joke that Game 1 was.
- We are witnessing Lebron’s transcendence to GOAT status.
- If Lebron beats this Warriors team again, I am ready to say that he is at least tied with Jordan. Save me your bullshit. What Lebron has been doing, regardless of his move to Miami, is unparalleled. If he beats the Super Warrior Brothers, then I’m saying it’s a tie. If he doesn’t, then I’m still saying he’s in the conversation. Appreciate his greatness people. I mean, when I am feeling extra existential-crisisy, I do two things to remind myself of how small and insignificant I am : look at the vast expanse of the night sky and watch this play. This is the greatest play I’ve ever seen and it’s time to give this man the respect that he is due.