"He goes and makes two, we don't score, and it kind of sent it back to a 10-point game after that".
¡Marche preso! Así fue el durísimo foul de J.R. Smith sobre Al Horford.
It was the only time Smith was on target.
The Celtics have three starters - Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum - who were 23 years old or younger at the beginning of the season. "We've got to be able to find someone who can match his toughness". Of course he came back, but when he came back I don't think he had that same punch that he had before he left, as far as attacking the basket and playing with that force and power we talked about at shootaround. "We see that. They're being physical, they're gooning the game up and we gotta do the same thing". They also didn't have to give in to Irving's trade demands, no matter how strong the threat appeared at the time. After winning 53 games last season and earning the Eastern Conference's top seed in the playoffs, the Celtics were wildly disappointed when they fell to Cleveland in the conference finals, 4-1.
But the National Basketball Association isn't punishing him for it, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Now, Lue has to ponder another shake-up. If Cleveland has any hope in this series, James's supporting cast will have to play leagues better moving forward.More news: Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot is slated to go on sale in 2019
Another possibility is to drop Smith, who is 2 of 16 from the field and missed all seven 3-pointers, from the starting lineup, but that would be risky because of his mercurial nature.
The personal 5-0 run for Baynes pushed Boston over the hump and they never looked back.
From sacrificing his body diving for loose balls or keeping plays alive with a rebound, to causing deflections on defense, to popping up out of the crowd for a timely rebound or tip-in, Smart is the proud everyman for a once underdog Celtics team that has outworked the Cavaliers through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. Smith has been locked in defensively throughout the postseason, so Lue is assuming he'll get it together.
"One of my guys was down, and I took offence to it", added Smart, who produced a superb defensive display to help contain LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Brown's motor is clearly an issue for Cleveland, which doesn't have the athleticism on the wing to keep up.
By the time Baynes entered the game with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter, LeBron already had eight points but he was just getting started. Cleveland lacks enough playmakers capable of creating their own shot or opportunities for others.
For the third straight series, Boston has taken care of the first two games and now climb to 9-0 at home in the playoffs. It was a good, hard foul.
But perhaps more importantly, we have to consider the impact off the court.