Game 5 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals took place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts and things continue to go according to the script. Both teams have held up their home court advantage coming into the first two games and last night was no different. The Celtics established control of the game from the opening tip and Coach Stevens’ coaching adjustments, LeBron James’ mental fatigue, and lack of support from his teammates (LeBron made 11 field goals last night while Thompson, Hill, Smith, Nance, Korver, Clarkson and Green combined for 11 field goals, and Kevin Love was the only other Cavs starter other than LeBron to make a first-half field goal), it is easy to see why the Cavs are on the brink of elimination and why this could be the first non LeBron NBA Finals since the 2010 Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers. If you missed last night’s game, check out these highlights below courtesy of FreeDawkins YouTube Channel
LeBron James ironically showed his greatness by not producing his best efforts in game 5 with a stat line of 26 points on 11-22 shooting from the field (50%), 10 rebounds, and 5 assist. However, LeBron’s 6 untimely turnovers bring his overall grade down a notch.
On the Celtics end of things, Rookie Forward, Jayson Tatum continues to prove that the playoff stage is not too bright for the 20-year-old Duke University stand out who finished the night with a team-high 24 Points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Tatum is also fourth all-time in Playoff scoring among Rookies after last nights performance.
— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) May 24, 2018
Jayson Tatum passed Magic and Wilt tonight, and now has the 4th-most points by a rookie in NBA playoff history. pic.twitter.com/ipj3vwKixa
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 24, 2018
Although the Celtics are currently in the driver’s seat, it must be mentioned that LeBron James has been in this position before. In fact, just 6 years ago, LeBron was on the brink of elimination in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the BIG 4 (Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rondo) led Celtics. Till this day it remains LeBron’s greatest playoff performance due to the magnitude of the moment of LeBron having not won an NBA Championship and shrinking under pressure the year before in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
However, this LeBron James is 6 years older and his supporting cast doesn’t have a D Wade, Chris Bosh, or better yet Kyrie Irving to take a load off his shoulders. If you were to ask me, the Celtics are still the team dealing with the most pressure in the duration of this series. The Celtics have struggled on the road during these playoffs only winning one game (Game 3 of the Eastern Semi-Finals against the 76ers). The Celtics must establish a sense of urgency in Game 6 because if this series was to go to a Game 7, it’ll be very hard to pick against the best player on the planet.
What are your predictions for Game 6? Is it time to panic in “Believeland”? Could we be potentially watching LeBron’s last game in a Cavaliers uniform for quite some time? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.