LeBron James survived the Indiana Pacers by putting up monster performances, and crushed the Raptors with relative ease. It was a bit of a surprise to those who thought this version of the Cleveland Cavaliers were flawed. After all, they had no Kyrie Irving, an inconsistent Kevin Love, and a bunch of spare parts thanks to wholesale changes at the trade deadline.
The common thought was “if you can stop LeBron, the rest of these Cavs can’t beat you.” Neither the Pacers nor the Raptors could stop LeBron, but Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris did an admirable job of keeping James at bay during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Morris told reporters that he took the time to study tape of how Indiana and Toronto attempted to defend against LeBron, so he wouldn’t make the same mistakes. His final verdict?
“Them dudes can’t guard. That’s what I did pick up,” Morris said, according to The Washington Post.
Morris held James to just 15 points in Game 1 on 5-of-16 shooting, and forced him into seven turnovers. Morris acknowledged that it wasn’t just him doing a good job though, as the entire Celtics team had to focus on LeBron at times.
“It’s a team effort,” Morris said. “It’s not just me. Everybody played their part in guarding him. He’s obviously the best player in the game, and you need multiple guys and a team to guard him an entire game. I just think we did a great job of that.”
The Celtics won Game 1 easily, blowing out the Cavs by a score of 108-83. James said he “wasn’t worried” about the loss, calling it a “feeling out” game. We’ll see how King James responded in Game 2 on Tuesday night, and whether Morris can continue to keep the game’s best player quiet.