Saturday, 18 August, 2018

History suggests Marcus Morris could challenge LeBron in Eastern Conference

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Kayla Schwartz | 13 May, 2018, 01:02

In many ways, LeBron James is the Nick Saban of the NBA Eastern Conference - if you can't beat him, you better update your resume.

"With this group, we have more depth in [the perimeter] positions, suited more to guard LeBron", said Horford, who was part of last year's team that lost to the Cavaliers in five games. Let the band play on, starting with the Rolling Stones' 1964 hit "Not Fade Away."That refers to the Boston Celtics' fondest defensive hope in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, starting Sunday afternoon, as they face LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the newest tool in James' kit.The faderThat is an unstoppable, untoppable, unblockable fadeaway jump shot, taken from a position so laid back a hammock should be its ultimate landing zone".

The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics, 102-99, in the regular-season opener at Quicken Loans Arena, but fell, 102-88, in Boston on January 3. They're ready to get behind their team. He is playing at a ridiculous level right now. No one was helped more by Thursday's off day than the Celtics swingman. Thomas, damaged goods with a mangled hip, never fit in the lineup or meshed in the Cavs' turmoil-filled locker room. The teams he has been connected to are all on the verge of being contenders, but the Cavaliers remain the cream of the crop in a much less competitive Eastern Conference.

But with Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown all moving up quickly on the growth chart because of the opportunities created by season-ending injuries to Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the Celtics have actually improved since the Milwaukee series.

In a timeframe that has often already swallowed up most first-time National Basketball Association coaches, he's managed to endear himself to a championship-driven city by helping Boston make an improbable run back to the Eastern Conference finals. Because they're on TV all the time, we're watching them every night, just like everybody else is. Against the 76ers, Tatum averaged 24 points. James' relationship with owner Dan Gilbert has always been frayed and having brought a championship to his hometown, James could find it easier to leave Cleveland for the second time. What if we trade the number eight pick for player X? If you had of told fans before the season started that the team would win 52 games, nab the 3 seed and win a playoff series, they would've taken that scenario and run with it. If you made me bet my house, I think I would go with Golden State because I've seen it before. In typical LeBron fashion, he completely defied the naysayers by playing just as well this series as the last.

Ireland's introduction to Test cricket after 144-year wait ruined by rain
Playing in only his second Test, Shadab showed remarkable composure and maturity as he displayed his all-round credentials. Pakistan had been struggling early on but Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan played patiently to lead the recovery effort.

Back from an ankle injury, Curry will be at the forefront with his trademark long-range three-point shooting and silky play-making.

Hayward is on the Celtics' playoff roster and Boston is winning. Clarkson, Hill, and Hood, all acquired at the deadline, combined for 44 points.

LeBron James, who is averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the playoffs, has been the key to everything the Cavs have accomplished so far. He has more postseason points against Boston than anyone has scored against a single opponent in the playoffs in National Basketball Association history.

Like Rozier and Brown, the 20-year-old Tatum is playing better in these moments. His heroics include scoring 45 points in Game 7 to oust in in a first-round series and two buzzer-beaters. Now it may seem counterproductive to tray and engage the best player in the world as frequently as possible, bu the Celtics best bet at limiting LeBron's impact in the series is to tire him out. "He's obviously a special talent". In just about every simulation in my mind, the Cavaliers will come out on top.

Same as it ever was.

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