The Boston Celtics are now one game away from preventing the what was thought as the inevitable — LeBron James going to another NBA Finals. Boston’s 13-point win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals did more than just move it ahead in the series. The game showed why no one should be holding out hope for a Cavs comeback.
Here is why:
LeBron James is exhausted: Yes, it finally happened. Fatigue appears to be catching up with LeBron James after accumulating far too many minutes this season (he led the league). LeBron’s body language told the story all tonight. He is simply burned out from carrying a talentless roster.
James isn’t going to magically not be exhausted by Friday or Sunday. Now approaching his 99th and 100th games of the season, does this look like a guy ready to carry his team to beat a superior roster twice in the next four days?
The Celtics are too good at home: In order for the Cavaliers to reach the NBA Finals, they will now have to win Game 7 in Boston. The Celtics have yet to even lose a home playoff game this season. The chances of that happening are becoming more far-fetched every time the young Celtics enter the TD Garden.
At home, Boston has been a completely different team out hustling Cleveland, Philadelphia and Milwaukee on both ends. Through three games, the Cavaliers have been unable to even look competitive against the Celtics on the road. Why would that change in a potential Game 7?
The Celtics are better: Let’s face it, the better team is wearing green. Wednesday night, Boston absolutely obliterated the Cavaliers on fast-break points 18-2. The reason was simple: Cleveland does not have the talent to run with the Celtics.
The Cavs are a one-man team that is lucky if two role-players show up. Boston, on the other hand, is well-oiled machine loaded from top to bottom. Jayson Tatum is the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 20 points in a conference finals game and shows flashes of stardom nightly. The athleticism and talent of Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the big-game guts of Al Horford, the recent play of Terry Rozier along with effective depth, at this point, trumps LeBron and a bunch of average guys.
Nobody can be blamed for not giving up on a LeBron James-led squad, but things do not look promising. All signs point to Boston winning one of the next two games. Celtics’ fans will also be resting easy tonight knowing they have a huge coaching mismatch in their favor as well.