Boston Celtics: 5 options to try against LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James right fights for position against Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris during the third quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals Sunday

Twitter not kind to Cavaliers for getting crushed by Celtics in first half of Game 1

He and the Cavs swept IN 4-0 IN last year's playoffs which led to George leaving the team, and kicked off this postseason with a tough, 4-3 win over the rebuilt IN team, which was mostly a showing of how James can win series without any help from his teammates. The Rockets went out and got Chris Paul, with hopes of being the team that ends Golden State's three-year stranglehold on the Western Conference crown. In the past, Thompson has killed the Celtics on the glass, but now Boston has a player in Baynes who can match his physicality.

Ahead of Sunday's series opener at TD Garden, Stevens spoke with The Athletic's Jay King about Larkin's timetable. Except this time the tables have turned, and Kyrie is on the Celtics, except he and fellow star Gordon Hayward have been sidelined all playoffs with injuries. Charles Barkley declared "their season is over" on national television. Isaiah Thomas went from Boston to Cleveland in that deal; his season is over because he's long moved on from the Cavs.

Look for Boston Coach Brad Stevens to take the grueling physical style played by the Pacers in the first round and ask his team to turn up the defensive heat.

There are parts of me that wants to see Boston expose the Cavs for their inadequacies and pick them apart like a scanvanger on a roadkill corpse. I didn't see any of that.

"I don't think that I would ever define anybody in the coaching or playing shoes probably as comfortable", he said.

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But the Cavaliers will have LeBron James, and that's nearly always enough. The Pacers held a third-quarter lead in Cleveland in Game 7 before falling, 105-101.

James has been on a tear, averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks as he seeks his eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.

The paths might seem similar, but that's about the only thing that this year's run and last year's have in common.

"With this group", said Horford, "we have more depth in those positions suited more to guard LeBron". A lot more relaxed and calm. Horford has been strong all postseason, Rozier has stepped up in Kyrie Irving's absence, and the youngsters, Tatum and Brown, have been on top of their games. Smart has come back from his surgery to provide a significant spark.

Ward-Henninger was the lone dissenter choosing the Celtics to oust the Cavs in seven. Love was the Cavs' second-leading scorer in that series, making it very hard for LeBron James, who had to carry such a heavy load.3. He's not even, like, been on the team. He was obviously a teammate of mine for three years, and I know what he's capable of doing, but they got guys that's damn good no matter if they are young or not.

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A minute and nine seconds into his National Basketball Association career, Jayson Tatum took his first shot. Houston has the home-court edge, sure, but the Warriors have won at least one road game in 17 consecutive playoff series.

The record is 10, set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970.

The Celtics will be without backup point guard Shane Larkin due to a shoulder injury.

"It's still fresh; it's still sore", he said.

But while the 33-year-old has the utmost respect for the NBA's most decorated franchise, James' admiration hasn't stopped him from standing in the way of Boston stuffing more Larry O'Brien trophies into its crowded case.

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"I'm smarter, have more experience, more comfortability with the game, more familiarity with it, just more confident".

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