LeBron James finished the Eastern Conference Game 2 beat down with a strained neck and the rest of his Cavalier teammates left Boston like wounded soldiers after the Celtics mopped the parquet floor with the wine and gold 107-94, to take a 2-0 series lead.
The good news for the Cavs is that Tuesday’s thumping was not as bad as Sunday’s when the young Kyrie Irving less Celtics thrived 108-83.
The bad news is the Cavs wasted a 42- point triple double by James in game 2, but will return home to Quicken Loans Arena for games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
It has only been two games, but the small sample size exposed some alarming issues with the Cavaliers, and it’s not pretty.
Where do we start? Let’s begin with effort. There was zero fight in the Cavs in game 1 and the disturbing trend escalated in game 2, with the younger Celtics taunting, pushing, shoving and outright disrespecting the Cavs.
Head coach Tyron Lue started Tristan Thompson in game 2 and got a solid effort, 8 points and 7 rebounds, and Kevin Love had a decent bounce back game scoring 22 points and a game high 15 rebounds.
In the meanwhile the Cavs starting backcourt got out scored 41-3. Another playoff doughnut from JR Smith who got into a tussle with Celtics guard Marcus Smart and was attributed a technical foul. George Hill was abysmal going 1-4 and scoring 3 points in 33 minutes.
Kyle Korver had a mild 11 points, but the gaping holes in his defense in trying the guard the quicker and more athletic Celtics was monumental.
"We have an opportunity to go back home, protect home court," James said. "We're going to use these days to really dive in on what needs to be done to help our ball club be successful. They did what they had to do, and that was protect home, and now it's our time to try to do that, as well," said James.
Now, let’s see if they can accomplish just that.