Let LeBron have his
Technically, guarding LeBron James is possible. A person in front of him on defense fits the definition of guarding.
But doing it well? Only a select few have figured out how to do that. Kawhi Leonard, Andre Iguodala, JJ Barea, only a select group of defensive legends managed to stop LeBron on the biggest stage.
The Celtics won’t have that one guy. Like Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo, it will have to be a guarding by committee. Jaylen Brown will probably start on LeBron. Horford could switch in crunch time. Marcus Morris deserves a chance based on past performance. Semi Ojeleye is an option. Marcus Smart, always up for a challenge, will see some time on the King as well.
This won’t confuse LeBron James one bit. He’s used to seeing, and dominating, player after player on the offensive end. The Cavs will still get their switches, and LeBron will sprint by Greg Monroe or Aron Baynes. I’m sure we all remember last year’s series, as Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko, and Amir Johnson were left on an island, looking hopelessly for any help. It didn’t come.
This year, there aren’t as many defensive liabilities. Out of the regular rotation, I would only worry about Rozier or Baynes on switches. Anyone else has at least an okay chance to stick with the best player on the planet.
With all that said, can’t you just see LeBron hushing the Boston crowd like he did Toronto’s? Can’t you see LeBron going for 40+, dishing out assist after assist, and taking the series in 4 or 5 games? For better or worse, this series could be over after the first two games in Boston. If LeBron goes supernova, it’s over. If the Celtics hold their own on LeBron and stay perfect at home, how can the Cavs rebound with almost no momentum?
Obviously, LeBron winning against an Eastern Conference opponent is the safer bet. He’s gone to eight straight finals. EIGHT. But I’m not doubting the Boston Celtics again. I may seem like an absolute moron or genius a week from now, but I think the C’s can do enough to stop LeBron. He won’t be the sole reason for a potential Cavs series win. He will be at least very good if not great if not fantastic if not legendary.
But the Cavs can’t just run LeBron isos and beat the Celtics like last year. To win this series, it will be up guys like Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, JR Smith, and Tristan Thompson. Can the Other Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics?