Celtics' Marcus Smart has been unflappable against Cavaliers

  • Celtics' Marcus Smart has been unflappable against Cavaliers

Celtics' Marcus Smart has been unflappable against Cavaliers

The Cavaliers were in control all of the first half, quieting the crowd as they held a seven point lead going into halftime.

On this episode of the Wine and Gold talk podcast, Joe Vardon joins to discuss the odd feeling around the team and whether the Cavs can bounce back and still win the series. Not to mention the Cavaliers have the best player on the planet in LeBron James who loves to defy history.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled for Saturday night. After winning 53 games last season and earning the Eastern Conference's top seed in the playoffs, the Celtics were wildly disappointed when they fell to Cleveland in the conference finals, 4-1. Cleveland did exactly that: for a half.

The Boston Celtics are up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals thanks to "gooning the game up", according to Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue. Fortunately, they have a few days to do so.

They were (gasp) even covering for one another on the defensive end and making multiple efforts, holding Boston to 48 points on 19-of-44 (43.1 percent) from the field and 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Cavaliers have been good at the line, cashing in 75.8 percent of their chances. James had another classic playoff performance Tuesday night, posting a triple-double with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Smart, who had been jousting with Kevin Love under the basket, swooped behind Jeff Green, who had hauled in the rebound, and managed to poke the ball free. J.R. Smith and George Hill were outscored 41-3 by Boston starters Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier as the Celtics took a 2-0 lead in the series. Some fans and media thought the play warranted a flagrant 2 designation and an ejection due to the vulnerable position Horford was in when Smith shoved him, and there was speculation the league would revisit the play and suspend Smith for Game 3. The relentless pressure and intensity of the Celtics continued to wear on the Cavs, as Boston were just kicking into gear.

Celtics withstand James' huge night
Boston Celtics overcome another huge night from LeBron James

When the Cleveland Cavaliers went to their second NBA Finals appearance in a row following the return of LeBron James to the team, the starting lineup didn't look very different than it does now. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points and the Celtics had just six turnovers.

Perhaps James was simply exhausted from carrying the Cavaliers all night like the trendy satchel he had slung across his body, but one could detect a hint of resignation in the King's voice as he discussed the aftermath of Game 2. "Some nights not knowing (what) we were going to do and I just promised my mom, I'm going to make it for us".

"[Smith has] taken big shots", Lue said, which is as true of Korver as it is of Smith. And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot.

And if you REALLY want to get technical, the Cavs' three-team deal with Utah also gave the Jazz the option of swapping 2024 second-round picks with Cleveland. What tricks does Lue try to pull rotation wise here to get Cleveland back in the series? He ended the Celtics' seasons in 2011 and 2012 and the team was broken up after one more year together.