Celtics' Marcus Morris says LeBron James 'broke' the Raptors

Lynette Rowe
May 13, 2018

The Boston Celtics are the second-seeded team in the Eastern Conference and possess home-court advantage for the best-of-seven conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kyrie Irving was dealt to Boston in a blockbuster offseason deal for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder.

There was a time not long ago when Marcus Smart was simply hoping to have the chance to play again this season.

However, Irving's awkward reunion with James was quickly overshadowed by Hayward, Boston's big free-agent signing, grotesquely breaking his ankle just feet from the horrified Cavs bench.

The NBA Offseason is sure to provide a ton of drama and the big name on the market is expected to be Cleveland Cavaliers Forward LeBron James.

It has been quite the run for the Boston Celtics.

"I think they are one of the most well-coached teams in our league", James said, via Dakota Randall of NESN. "That's just how I was taught to play the game".

In all, six players reached double figures during the series, including all five starters. The Celtics are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Conference Finals games and 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games overall.

On the eve of the Eastern Conference finals, Morris showered James with praise but also stressed how he feels he's one of the best in the National Basketball Association at making things tough on James. After knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers in Round 2, the Celtics are riding high on confidence as players like Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier have blossomed in the postseason. Not only are the Cavs 1.5-point road favorites, but nearly all of the early money is on LeBron and Co.to cover the spread, according to the Action Network.

Rozier has flourished in a starting role since Irving was sidelined in mid-March. The 5-foot-9 Thomas had bravely carried the Celtics in the 2017 postseason despite a balky hip and broken heart following his sister's death in a auto crash. The series itself culminated in a an ugly 35-point Game 4 loss.

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His prolific-prone performances against Toronto alone gave him a whopping 36-point per game clip going to the Conference Finals, a first-class headache of a stat to any team trying to stop LeBron, if not defeat Cleveland. "But we found a way, we pulled together".

First, James owns the Raptors.

"He was a confident kid then when I watched him at Shaker". He said he's "super excited" to face James, but may regret getting his wish. "He's gotten better and better". There's been a lot that's happened throughout the season with us and for them. "He's a local guy".

James has been on a tear, averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks as he seeks his eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals. Boston was the top-rated defensive team in the league this year, allowing just 101.5 points per 100 possessions during the regular season. Cleveland is a -300 favorite - bet $300 to win $100 - to win the series.

With the Cavs series on tap, Vegas remains down on the Celtics.

"Boston is better than Indiana", Cavs forward Kyle Korver said.

"Obviously, if LeBron wants to come back, you're going to get the greatest player of this generation". They're really good. They're always in the right spot.

In 2013 the Bulls, without an injured Rose, met the Heat in the conference semi final and lost 4-1, with Nate Robinson and a young Jimmy Butler helping the Bulls poach 1 game in Miami.

During this year's playoffs, Brown has excelled at both ends of the floor, but will be asked to do a lot more this series. "Now that we're through that series, we're glad".

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