Can the Boston Celtics exploit Cleveland's suspect defense?

Not surprisingly, the Celtics struggled to contain the Cavaliers' offensive onslaught during the first game of their first-round playoff series on Sunday, a 113-100 win for Cleveland. Kyrie Irving caught fire for 30 points, LeBron James had 20 and Kevin Love added 19 despite shooting just 5-for-14, and the Cavs grabbed 15 offensive rebounds in the game.

But what about the other end of the floor? Unlike Doc Rivers's teams, Brad Stevens's 2014-15 Celtics have made offensive output their calling card, ranking at the top of the NBA in field goal attempts while averaging 101.4 points per game, good for 13th in the league. Thirteenth is also where Cleveland's defense ranks in opponents' ppg, at 98.7 points allowed. More encouraging for the Celtics, the Cavs are only 20th in opponents' field goal percentage, at 45.6 percent.

As Grantland's Zach Lowe noted after game 1, it's unlikely that this will be enough to swing the entire series Boston's way due to Cleveland's offensive firepower, but it could help the C's steal a game or two, especially back at TD Garden later this week.

The Celtics are by no means a sharpshooting team: Their 44.3 percent field goal accuracy in the regular season was the second-worst among playoff teams, better only than Chicago's 44.2. But they did rank in the top 10 for fewest turnovers committed, and the Cavaliers were in the bottom 10 when it came to forcing them.

At least some Celtics are aware that there could be an opportunity there for the taking:

James is Cleveland's best defensive player, and Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson provide commanding presences down low, but Irving, Love and J. R. Smith are all exploitable on D. If the Celtics can put together a strong offensive performance for a full 48 minutes, with better shooting nights from Avery Bradley and Evan Turner, they could at least put some fear into the Eastern Conference favorites.

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