The Cavaliers lost yesterday. It does not matter. The Celtics have not made this a series. There is no Ewing Theory in play here. The sky is not falling and you should not make sure you are available to watch a Game 6 on Saturday night because there will not be one.
Last year, the Cavs dropped two games to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. All four of their wins in that series were of the blowout variety and the Raptors were only able to steal two games through a combination of unsustainable play from a key role player and Cavaliers apathy.
Is there any doubt that yesterday's game is the same story?
Marcus Smart’s performance reeks of Bismack Biyombo’s herculean effort last year to help Toronto keep the series respectable. Smart is the NBA's worst three point shooter ever...no seriously he is, but last night he was Steph Curry. That will not continue.
and you think: but conrad, surely you’re exaggerating. surely marcus smart isn’t the worst shooter ever..BUT HE IS https://t.co/lhpxlYCxGB— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKaz) May 22, 2017
Smart had the game of his life last night and his seven (SEVEN!) made threes were a massive reason that the Celtics were able to win the game. Does anyone on planet Earth, think Smart is going to have another game where he shoots 70% from deep? Does anyone think he'll even shot 50 percent? 45 percent? I don't and neither should you. But Smart is not the only Celtic who had an unsustainable shooting night, the whole team shot 45 percent from three for the game. The game was so far from normal that a team with Al Horford actually won a game in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But it was not just the Celtic’s who performed abnormally. LeBron was apathetic, or in chill mode or whatever you want to call it. James took only 13 shots last night, the fewest of any game during this post season run. You would have to go back game 1 of the 2015-16 Eastern Conference Finals to find a game where he took such a low number of shots. The last time LeBron took less than 13 shots in a playoff game? May 30, 2014 when he was a member of the Miami Heat. I won’t begin to speculate why LeBron was less engaged than normal during last night’s game but he was. Does anyone expect that to continue? It’s conceivable that the King can have an off night. One off night can happen to anyone but a second or third or fourth off night? For LeBron? Not happening.
And neither is the lackluster bench performance. For all their warts the Cavaliers reserves are too talented offensively to contribute just nine points on the game. Compare Kyle Korver’s 20 percent three-point shooting effort on the night to Smart’s night...it just further proves that this game took place in Bizzaro World.
Yesterday’s game was a speed bump. A confluence of events that lead to an anomaly that wont be seen again. Smart is going to regress back to being bootleg John Starks and LeBron is going to regress back to being the destroyer of worlds. Cavs in five.