Jared Johnson

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Cavs Still Undefeated

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Cleveland 130, Boston 86 (Cavs lead series 2-0)

 

The Cavs embarrassed the Celtics on their home floor (again) during Friday’s ridiculous 44-point blowout win (Cleveland went into the break with a 41-point lead, the largest halftime lead in postseason history), and based on the way these past two games have gone, I’d be shocked if this series lasted more than four games.

 

Isaiah Thomas tweaked his right hip late in the second quarter and did not take the court for the second half of action, finishing with just two points (0-of-6 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), three boards, six dimes and one turnover through 18 minutes of action. Marcus Smart started the second half in Thomas’ place, but only managed to produce four points (0-of-6 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), five boards, seven assists, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 25 minutes. Brad Stevens said that Thomas initially suffered the hip injury during Game 6 of their second-round series against the Wizards, and while he's officially listing Thomas as questionable for Game 3 on Sunday, I'd be very surprised to see IT4 hit the sidelines; particularly with his team staring at a 0-2 hole.

 

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Really, none of the Celtics’ starters were very good in this one. Avery Bradley went 6-of-17 from the field on his way to 13 points, three boards and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes; Al Horford put up 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, two treys, two blocks and three turnovers in 27 minutes; and Jae Crowder finished with nine points (3-of-9 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four boards, one assist, one steal, one triple and one turnover in 23 minutes.

 

Jaylen Brown was a lone bright spot for the Celtics in his 24 minutes off the bench, registering a team-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (5-of-5 from the stripe) to go with four boards, two steals, one assist and three turnovers. Boston hasn’t really gotten much from Gerald Green (started Game 2) or Amir Johnson (started Game 1) as starters, so maybe Brown will get a chance to start out as LeBron James’ primary defender for Game 3 on Sunday.

 

As for the Cavs, they got whatever they wanted all game long. LeBron James recorded his eighth straight 30-point game of the postseason (making him the first player to open up the playoffs with eight straight 30-point games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970), going 12-of-18 from the field and 2-of-4 from the charity stripe on his way to four boards, four trey-bombs, seven dimes, four steals, three blocks and just one turnover in 33 minutes. James also surpassed Michael Jordan for the No. 2 spot for the most steals in post-season history, and he now needs just 18 more to surpass Scottie Pippen for the No. 1 spot on that list.

 

Kyrie Irving scored his 23 points with ease, going 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line on his way to three treys, one rebound, three assists, one steal, one block and four turnovers; and Kevin Love posted a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double to go with four triples, two assists, one steal and one turnover in 27 minutes. 

 

Injury News for Golden State-San Antonio series

 

Kawhi Leonard (ankle) is officially being listed as questionable for Saturday’s Game 3 against the Warriors. He didn’t do much during Thursday’s practice, and on Friday said he “could be feeling way better,” adding, “we’ll see how it feels [Saturday].” It looks like he’s headed for a game-time call, but we’ll have a better idea regarding his status following Saturday morning’s shootaround. If he’s out, Jonathon Simmons will see an increased workload on offense.

 

Zaza Pachulia (heel) was limited during Friday’s practice and he remains questionable for Game 3. Andre Iguodala (knee), on the other hand, was a full participant during Friday’s practice, and while he’s being listed as questionable he seems much closer to probable. If Pachulia is unable to give it a go on Saturday night, Iguodala could see some increased minutes as the Dubs would likely go to their small ball lineups more often.



A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the Rotoworld team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJ831, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.
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