That didn't stop head coach Brad Stevens from adjusting his lineup.
James is still the NBA's leading scorer this postseason at 32.7 points per game.
Additionally, Al Horford dominated against Love, who guarded the Celtics center on 62 percent of the offensive possessions he played, according to National Basketball Association player tracking data. You know, you get better throughout the series.
"Limited" to a pedestrian triple-double in Game 1 (24-10-12), James dominated Game 2 with 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and five assists in Cleveland's 100-97 victory. "The good thing about our group is we've had a bunch of starting lineups this year". At an off-day practice Monday, Tyronn Lue sounded like a guy who was going to start Thompson on Tuesday night, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. "The 3-point shot has been a big part since we pretty much assembled this team four years ago, and I think it's going to be a big part of it throughout the series, as long as we continue to get the ball moving and guys feel in good rhythm". Relighting the spark in Boston, with eight points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes during Game 1, Thompson appears on the rise again.
"Just be myself, be very active, be active early".
If Thompson is in the starting, the idea - at least from Lue and the Cavs' point of view - is that the Celtics could and would throw Baynes in their starting lineup to try and counteract Thompson's powerful rebounding presence in front of the basket. "We've got our jobs to do as the other players. We just need to be better at making them feel us". "That's unacceptable. Us bigs, we should be pissed off about that just because our job is to protect the paint, so we've got to do a better job of that".
"They punked us", he told ESPN. "I think even early on with the shots that we had, we had some wide-open looks that just didn't go".
But James shot 5-of-16 and committed seven turnovers - his most in a playoff game since he coughed it up eight times against the Warriors in Game 1 of the 2017 Finals. "But at the same time, we can't rely on that". According to Horford, the Celtics went small and it worked great, with Marcus Morris [VIDEO] helping shut down LeBron James while Horford himself had one of his best outings against a LeBron led team in the playoffs. "Whoever they put on the floor, we're going to have to help appropriately, depending on who's on the floor, and we're going to have to guard him as hard as we can, which is easier said than done".
"I expect him to have a big response", teammate Kevin Love told reporters. "I imagine it'll be a lot like Game 2 against IN".