LeBron James had one of his worst performances of the season, scoring just 11 points after averaging 34 points in Games 1 and 2. The Cavs underestimated the Celtics without Isaiah Thomas!
“If you respect everyone and underestimate no one, you should never have a problem. The Cavs underestimated the Celtics without Isaiah Thomas, because you’re looking at a guy that averaged almost 30 points a game and you’re looking at the Celtics like ‘well, without those 30 points, how are they going to get into their offense?’
What they didn’t realize is that without a ball-dominant player, the ball has to move. And the Celtics forced the Cavaliers to guard for the entire shot clock.
This was a wake up call for the Cavs! LeBron says “I’m glad it happened. Because guess what? When you win a game by 44 points, it’s hard for the coach to have your attention. But when you lose to a team on your home court without their best player, not only does he have your attention, he has your undivided attention. This is not about the Celtics. The Cavs need to understand in order to accomplish their ultimate goal, there’s a team on the other side. And you can never have a lapse because they’ve got guys who can hit you up for 30, 40 in every single game. So I’m glad it happened. Sure, I would love to see them sleep and get their rest, but this was a wake-up call. They’re not where they need to be.”