Celtics know they can't rely on parquet to win Game 7


On Friday night, James had one of the best long-range shooting playoff games of his career, making 5 of 7 3-pointers on a night when the rest of his team went 4-for-16 on them.

It will, coincidentally, be the eighth time in James's 15-year National Basketball Association career that he's played in a Game 7 in a playoff series.

According to oddsmakers, the Boston Celtics are a slight favorite (-2.5) over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 tonight.

James was asked what will separate the Cavs and Celtics after they've split the first six games of the series.

Judging by his performance on Friday, Boston will have their hands full trying to limit him, especially in a Game 7.

Still, the four-time MVP carried his team even after Love banged heads with Boston's Jayson Tatum in the first half and left the game.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to advance to their fourth NBA Finals in a row, they'll have to do it without the services of Kevin Love. "Our team is built on me being out on the floor to be able to make plays not only for myself but to make plays for others".

Even if the Rockets are playing stellar basketball in Game 7, the Warriors will still be seen as the favorite due to their track record.

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Lue said he wasn't concerned about James, who favored his leg while slowly walking out of Quicken Loans Arena early Saturday after Game 6. "I have a knot on the back of my head and he didn't return". If James manages to carry his team to an unreal eighth consecutive NBA Finals (four with the Heat, potentially four with the Cavs), he'd be a huge underdog against either the Rockets or Warriors, and his overall finals record could slip to 3-6.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are fighting for their playoff lives in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics. And, just to make sure, James was brilliant: playing all but 28 seconds of the game, he had 31 points and 12 rebounds.

"Today is really the only thing I can think about", James said. Now Boston has a game plan, is playing on its home floor and has done well against Cleveland at TD Garden.

If there's one aspect of either squad that's been an indicator of how this series has varied from venue to venue, it's the play of the starting guards - and there's no better example than George Hill.

With injuries to some key pieces, the Celtics have basically gone with a seven-man rotation against the Cavaliers - bringing Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart off the bench.

Before picking either side in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say. "We got to be ready to come up with our nose bloodied, we got to be ready to come out with our mouth bloodied, we have to be coming out ready to fight".

"As soon as I leave here, I'll start to prepare", James said of his treatment regimen. It's winner-take-all, in the gym where the Cavs have been unable to do anything but play patsy for the Celtics and their ravenous fans.