Cavaliers might need forgotten Tristan Thompson more than ever

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The Celtics led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled James for good with 7:09 left.

But Boston beware. LeBron is notorious for bouncing back in impressive fashion, like dropping 45 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Game 7 against the shell-shocked Pacers just a couple weeks ago. For the 39 possessions that Morris guarded James, the Cavaliers averaged 89.7 points per 100 possessions which is a lot lower than their playoff average of 108 points per 100 possessions.

The Celtics crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers in Sunday's National Basketball Association eastern conference opener 108-83 and can take a 2-0 lead with a win in game two in Boston (10.30am AEST Wednesday).

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is one of the smartest players ever and coupled with his incredible talent, this has made him a devastating force on the court. Cleveland finished with 36 percent field-goal shooting, including 4 of 26 from 3-point range.

"That's unacceptable", Thompson said.

"We have to focus on what we do best, realize that you're going to get that punch, that you're going to get that hit by LeBron and the rest of those guys", said Stevens. If Morris is making things hard, and James just gets through it anyways, you have to accept that. We've got to clean those up. He's ready to take on Horford, 31, a five-time All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks and Celtics.

"Horford's a very good player; he's an All-Star", Thompson told McMenamin.

James then acknowledged what some in attendance were likely thinking at the time, saying, "It's kind of insane I can replay all the plays in my head, huh?"

"You get better throughout the series".

Thompson came off the bench Sunday but has fared well opposite Horford in the past.

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"Just be myself, be very active, be active early". "When I go check into the game, whether it's him or (Aron) Baynes I just try to run the floor, set pick-and-rolls and just try to work him on both ends so that hopefully by the second half his legs might be a little exhausted where he might not make that three that he makes in the first half". "Just try to work (Horford) on both ends so hopefully by the second half his legs might be a little exhausted where he might not make that three that he makes in the first half".

Love said he thought the Cavs were a "little soft" in the first half in Game 1.

'Sometimes I'm able to put myself in situations that are better for me and better for our team by knowing what happened before.

Personally, I think I'm probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi (Leonard).

James has done a great job of keeping his offseason plans to himself, but still, rumors are hinting at possible teams he could go to in free agency.

The Cavs apparently have an answer for their Game 1 struggles, and it's inserting Tristan Thompson in the starting lineup.

"We played great in Game 1, and then they came out and just jumped on us [in Game 2]", Stevens recalled of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. "Obviously, when I check in the game I try to bring that toughness and that energy".

Morris backed up every every bit of talk from before the game, and now it is James that has to figure out how to get around this defense.

Nevertheless, Boston have set the tone and made it clear they're going to be the aggressors. They have to keep up the same intensity and stick to the same gameplan, as it has helped to limit Ben Simmons' offense in the second round, as well as against LeBron when executed by the Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals.

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