The Cleveland Cavaliers throttled the Boston Celtics 117-104 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night at TD Garden, but Isaiah Thomas vowed after the loss to right the ship moving forward.
"With a team like that, the defending champs, you can't let them hit first," he said, according to the team's official Twitter account. "We'll definitely make sure it's different for Game 2.
"They were the more energized team," Thomas added of the Cavaliers' 10-day break between games, according to CSN New England's A. Sherrod Blakely. "There's a reason for that."
Thanks to that extended layoff, the Cavaliers entered Game 1 with fresh legs and an energy the Celtics couldn't match after the Washington Wizards pushed them to seven games in the second round.
That much was evident in the second half, when the Cavaliers maintained a 20-plus-point edge as Thomas—who scored 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting—grew frustrated:
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Things getting chippy 👀 https://t.co/VCXQkDnCIQ5/18/2017, 2:21:43 AM
If there's a silver lining for the Celtics, it's that they were able to get open looks rather easily against the Cavs. To that point, Boston attempted more uncontested shots (46) than contested ones (42) in the loss, according to NBA.com's player tracking data. However, the Celtics converted just 45.7 percent of their open looks.
If that number can hover around 50 percent in Game 2 on Friday in concert with a resurgence from their floor general, the C's could knot things at one game apiece as the series gets set to shift to Quicken Loans Arena.