It’s round three of Lebron James vs Brad Stevens in the playoffs. The Celtics coach is widely regarded as one of the best in the NBA, and he will try to squeeze every bit of basketball from this depleted roster, to try to avoid an 0-3 record against Lebron. This is the blueprint in my opinion:
Boston Celtics will try throwing different defenders on Lebron James. They have a few guys that can hold their own against him. Jalen Brown will probably get most of the responsibility but Tatum and Morris will also try to slow down Lebron James.
I believe that because of the combination of size and length that these Celtics have, it’s gonna be tougher for Lebron to make all those fadeaway shots from the Raptors series.
Even when he starts making some shots, I expect some double teaming with quick recovery which I am sure this team is capable of doing.
The one thing Brad Stevens knows is that he can not leave Kyle Korver or Jr Smith for a wide open three. They were absolutely shooting lights out in the previous round combining for 63%.
We already know that’s exactly how the Cavaliers play and what they hope for. Lebron James penetrates or backs down, draws double team, and kicks it out to the shooter.
So the defensive rotations would have to be extremely quick and well executed.
The Celtics proved they can rotate and contest the three well against the Sixers, where they were able to help on Simmons or Embiid and guard the three point line at the same time.
I love how Smart, Rozier and even Larkin were able to recover and get out to the shooter and contest. Philadelphia shot only 30.8% from downtown.
Brad Stevens is counting on the extremely disciplined and resilient team to execute the game plan and fight to the last bit of energy against a clearly more talented opponent.
Lebron James and The Cavs might end up winning the series, but they will definitely have to earn that victory.
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