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Current television analyst, and former Celtic, Paul Pierce got it right. "They're (Celtics) not coming out with a sense of urgency" was Paul's comment on the Celtics 116-86 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"They're not defending the three. They're not defending the paint" were his additional thoughts on the game and Boston's performance. It was obvious from the start of the game that Boston's defensive intensity was not there.

This game wasn't simply the Lebron James-Kevin Love show. Five Cavaliers hit double-digit points, and Kyle Korver didn't miss anything. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Lebron James did a good job of getting his teammates involved, racking up 12 assists for the game. Boston was manhandled on the glass, collecting 34 rebounds to Cleveland's 45. The Cavaliers had nine steals to the Celtics four. Boston's lack of a "sense of urgency" was apparent in all parts of their game.

On offense, the Celtics often relied on long, contested shots off the dribble instead of moving the ball. And the Cavalier's defense did not allow Boston to get going in transition.

Jayson Tatum was high-scorer for Boston with 18 points. Cleveland shot 48.7% on field goals to Boston's 39.2%. Part of the reason for the Cavalier's high-shooting percentage was that their offensive production often looked like an in-game dunk contest. Brad Stevens will have a few things to say to his troops on that factor.

Chalk this stinker up to youth, complacency, being on the road or lack of urgency - or perhaps a combination of all of that. I doubt we will see this type of blowout again with Boston taking such a beating. Time to regroup and come out prepared for Game Four.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Christopher Evans/Boston Herald

Tom Lane 5/20/2018 08:34:00 AM Edit
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