The Boston Celtics look to take a 3-1 lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston Celtics veteran forward Marcus Morris has put himself on blast for a poor defensive performance against LeBron James in Game 3.
First of all, no one can stop LeBron James the scorer. But, as Morris has proved in Game 1 and 2, the playmaker in James can be slowed.
Following a 116-86 thumping in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics are focused on getting back to the defensive basketball that have defined them all year. Morris, in particular, knows he can and has to do a better job on the man known as the best basketball player in the world.
More from Chowder and Champions
- 3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox
- 10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster Deadline
- MLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return
- 3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 Season
- Red Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win
"“I did an (expletive) job defensively with LeBron,” Morris said at Celtics practice on Sunday, via WEEI. “He was too comfortable when I was guarding him.”"
James didn’t come out and put up 50 points like many expected. But, he was able to get his teammates involved in the game, which in this case was more effective than the 27 points he scored.
The 12 assists LeBron James tallied up were a result of the Boston Celtics defense losing focus and allowing James to create for the shooters around him. Marcus Morris took that lack of discipline personally and promises the team that failed to show up Saturday night will be ready for Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.
"“I watched the first two games and how we defended them and how I defended him personally and, like I said, I just thought I did a terrible job,” Morris said. “I made myself very vulnerable and got screened a lot, and he made his space. He’s a great player and that’s what he does, so we have to fix that.”"
With the Celtics humbled by the 30-point loss, a better team effort is expected Monday night.
No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers
How to watch Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals live
When: Monday, May 21, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena
National telecast: ESPN
Boston Celtics projected starting lineup:
PG-Terry Rozier; SG-Jaylen Brown; C-Al Horford; F-Marcus Morris; F-Jayson Tatum
Game 4 key matchup
If the Boston Celtics are to win this game Al Horford has to be more involved on the offensive end of the court.
In Game 3’s embarrassing performance, Horford only attempted 4 shots and wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in both Game 1 and Game 2. The insertion of Tristian Thompson into the Cleveland Cavaliers starting lineup could be a reason for that as Horford wasn’t able to create his offense against Thompson in the same way he can against Kevin Love.
The challenge for Brad Stevens will be to figure out a way to counter Thompson being on the court against Horford. He could go big by starting Aron Baynes at center or play Greg Monroe more as an offensive threat who could take advantage of Love.
Since Thompson is less of an offensive threat, Monroe wouldn’t be as much of a liability on the defensive end.
The Boston Celtics will come out with a better effort in Game 4. Expect a close game that the Celtics find a way to pull out to take a 3-1 lead in the series. LeBron James will have a big scoring night, but the supporting cast won’t be as effective.