Irving, James lead the way as Cavs down Celtics

Erica Murray
May 26, 2017

With the Cleveland Cavaliers set to visit the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night, the 2017 NBA Finals matchup should be made official one week before the series begins.

That has fueled a dismal 5-14 SU run in their past 19 overall against Cleveland since the C's last recorded three straight outright wins over the Cavaliers during the 2013-14 campaign. Resorting to that off-ball switch, though, is a better option for Boston than letting him reverse course and get a clean look from the short corner. Because for him it was more of like, 'I don't know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing'.

The way Irving grabbed at his ankle and writhed on the floor in pain suggested he'd have to briefly leave the game at least, and head back to the locker room for evaluation at worst. Now, I'm wondering if the best option might be to trade Thomas while he's at his peak, and then use that No. 1 pick to snag either Fultz or Ball as the PG of the future.

Irving's ball-handling skills are unmatched in the National Basketball Association today and his ability to create shots for himself off the dribble is uncanny. "My adrenaline (was) still going at this point, so I'm pretty sure when I get home my body will probably hate me, but it's the magnitude of the moment and what's at stake, and I wasn't coming out".

"My adrenaline is still going", he said.

"You got us to this point and continue to do that, so I just tried to find ways to get into the lane, get into transition, when they backed off, shoot the jumper, and felt very comfortable". With their home crowd behind them, the Celtics will be a formidable opponent. His excellent play was even more impressive considering he sprained his left ankle during the second half. "We had to do what we had to do". Though, his regular season performance was marred somewhat by a disastrous first two games in the Eastern Conference Finals that saw him shoot 7-of-25 from the field.

The Celtics started Kelly Olynyk at center in place of Johnson on Tuesday. Before the playoffs began, the Celtics were 22-5 at home since January 1.

The duo ended up combining for 76 points, with Irving racking up 42 points and four assists, the point total marking a playoff high for the six-year veteran.

Irving piled on 21 points in the third period as Cleveland turned their 10-point half-time deficit into an 87-80 lead at the end of the third quarter. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far. Smith posted photos on his Instagram account of the couple leaving Hillcrest Hospital with their baby in a stroller.

Johnson sprained his right shoulder during a Game 3 collision. (Hypocritical much?) But he's not the future of this Celtics franchise, especially if they hope to contend for a title in the next two or three years.

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