Avery Bradley
After watching film on Monday, Avery Bradley is anxious to bounce back from a rough Game 1 performance in Cleveland.
Peter Stringer/

Celtics Work to Correct Game 1 Mistakes

CLEVELAND – Isaiah Thomas didn’t win the Sixth Man of the Year Award on Monday, but he'll still be the first man that the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to be looking to lock down on Tuesday.

The NBA on Monday released voting results on the award, and Thomas finished second behind Toronto’s Lou Williams. Williams received 78 first-place votes, while Thomas drew 33 first-place votes. But given Thomas’ double-double in the Celtics' 113-100 Game 1 loss to the Cavs, you can bet he’ll draw plenty of attention in Game 2.

“They’re crowding me a lot, putting two guys on me,” Thomas said before the Celtics practiced Monday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena. “I’ve just got to find the open guy, and try to make the right play as much as possible.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens concurred with Thomas, noting that he’s not worried about Thomas scoring, but instead, what happens with the offense when he’s got the ball in his hands.

“Whether he scores 20 (sic) like he did yesterday or he scores five, the goal is for our team to get good shots,” Stevens said. “They’re going to pay him a lot of attention. He just has to continue to make the right basketball play.”

Thomas finished Monday’s game with 22 points and 10 assists, but he wasn’t happy with committing five of the Celtics’ 14 turnovers.

“I had a few turnovers that I can control, like jumping in the air,” Thomas said. “But I can fix those, so hopefully in Game 2 it will be a different story.”

Another player looking to change the narrative in Game 2 is Avery Bradley, who scored just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting. Three of his seven misses were way off, as Bradley hoisted a trio of airballs.

“We were able to watch film this morning, and we know what we need to improve on and how we need to execute on the offensive end, and that’s our main focus going into tomorrow,” Bradley said. “I feel a lot more confident. I feel like we can execute better on the offensive end and get ourselves a lot more easy buckets. I feel like we can space the floor better and make it harder on them, make them have to guard.”

For Brad Stevens, team rebounding was a point of emphasis from the morning film session.

“Defensive rebounding was obviously a major factor here. You’ve got to do a great job with your guards and rotating because you’re going to be in some rotations with their level of talent on the first shot,” Stevens said. “We’ve got to be great at it, not only cleaning up rebounds but also rotating and blocking out.”

The Celtics certainly can’t afford to allow the Cavs to grab another 15 offensive rebounds in Game 2, and they certainly don’t want to allow 13 treys, either. They’ll have to better on the boards, and across the board, if they want to tie the series up before the scene shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Thursday.


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