If you thought LeBron James would have a legendary Game 2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, you weren't alone, and you weren't disappointed. The King has never been much of a Game 1 kind of guy in the Playoffs. Even when the Cleveland Cavaliers sweep teams, LBJ usually plays his worst game of the series in the first game. It was evident early on that James was making a statement.
A little similar to Game 2 of the first round series against the Indiana Pacers.
The guy likes Game 2. He put up 43 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists in Game 2 against the Raptors, the infamous LeBronto game, when he decided to take the toughest fade-away jumpers he could come up with.
Enough of that. Back to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron went off in the first quarter for 21 points. He scored 21 more over the next 3 quarters, ending up with a strong 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Legendary bounce back game, no doubt, but it wasn't enough. The only other Cavs to score in the double digits were Kevin Love with 22 and Kyle Korver with 11. J.R. Smith had 0 points in 27 minutes, George Hill had 3 points in 33 minutes, Larry Nance had 0 points in 11 minutes, Rodney Hood had 2 points in 11 minutes, Jeff Green managed 6 points in 28 minutes and Tristan Thompson had a total of 8 points and 7 rebounds in 30 minutes. That is a blueprint to a loss.
On the other side of the coin you have the Boston Celtics that didn't put up any big numbers individually but had 6 players reach double digit scoring and a 7th guy that had 9. Jaylen Brown led the way with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, solid as usual with timely buckets that kept that feeding frenzy that is the hometown Boston crowd well fed.
Terry Rozier kept his improbable Playoff run going with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, including a huge 14 point 3rd quarter.
Al Horford had 15 points, Marcus Morris had 12, Jayson Tatum had 11, Marcus Smart had 11, Aron Baynes had 9... Even Greg Monroe popped by for 6 points. Semi Ojeleye had a pair. Abdel Nader played 1 minute and had 2 more points than J.R. Smith, who played 27. That's depth. That's the blueprint to a victory.
The 2018 Boston Celtics are greater than the sum of their parts. Are these Celts a deeper version of the 2004 Detroit Pistons? A team that we never saw coming and didn't believe in until we suddenly believed in them, like when those Pistons lost Game 1 in Los Angeles and then took Game 2 on the road won the next 3 straight, clinching the title in L.A.
Or are these Celtics the Wu-Tang Clan of 1993? Collectively greater than individually. Young, raw talent that takes turns leading the way. Various interchangeable parts that can perform in different combinations and always come out on top in spite of the odds. Al Horford as RZA. Marcus Smart as Ol' Dirty Bastard. Jayson Tatum as Methodman. Jaylen Brown as Raekwon. Marcus Morris as Ghostface Killah.
The rest of the Clan would be very insulted if I named anyone else on the Celtics Playoff roster in reference to them. But I will throw this last one in. The out of nowhere performance of the Playoffs goes to Terry Rozier as Cappadonna.
Let 'em know Cappachino...