Regular Features

BSJ Daily Briefing 05.16.18: Celtics take 2-0 lead on Cleveland, while Sox fall to Oakland

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(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Good morning! A few thoughts as you try and wrap your head around the idea the C's are now six wins from an NBA championship:

--Love how the Celtics said the last day or two they anticipated getting LeBron's best right out of the gate -- and man oh man, did he go thermonuclear on them in the first quarter. That turnaround three over Marcus Smart -- which might have been taken from somewhere near Newton -- was astounding. But Boston took the punch and answered, hanging around and eventually taking a second-half lead. That's the sign of a mentally tough group right there, and should tell you all you need to know about this team.

--There are a lot of different things at play here, but we're seeing just how bad the Cleveland defense is in real time. This is a team that simply can't get a stop when it needs to. I have to imagine there are a few options for the Cavs heading into Game 3 -- I'm going to leave those for folks like BRobb who are smarter about basketball than me. But Cleveland has to find a solution, and fast.

--I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Marcus Smart must be a pain-in-the-ass to play against. And I loved what he did after J.R. Smith pushed Al Horford last night. As Greg said in his column, he's one of the biggest reasons why the Celtics are in control of this series. And Marcus Morris delivered a classic moment after this driving layup.

--Of all the people I thought I'd be wondering about during the draft lottery on Tuesday night, I have to tell you Jami Gertz was pretty far down on that list. But there you go.

--Meanwhile, over at Fenway ... I mean, when you understand just what Oakland outfielder Stephen Piscotty went through in the last couple of months, to see something like this ... it was pretty great.

Now, on with the links...

CELTICS

Robb: Celtics were able to absorb LeBron’s best punch thanks to Jaylen Brown
Bedard: This series is all but over, and it’s because the Celtics have Marcus Smart and the Cavs don’t
BSJ Game Report: Celtics 107, Cavs 94 — Celtics overcome LeBron’s triple-double
Video: LeBron James – ‘We’re going to see what we’re made of Saturday’
Video: Marcus Smart – ‘That’s a dirty shot. You just can’t allow that to keep happening’
Video: Brad Stevens – ‘We’re going to have to be tougher and more resilient as we go to Cleveland’
Video: Tyronn Lue – ‘We’ve got to keep our composure’
Video: Kyle Korver – ‘We just didn’t have good energy in the second half’
Video: J.R. Smith – ‘I blatantly pushed him, it wasn’t like I tried to low-bridge him … a good, hard foul’
Video: Aron Baynes – ‘The fans are so smart, and they really get behind you at the right times’
Final: Celtics 107, Cavs 94 – C’s handle LeBron’s triple-double to go up 2-0
Celtics miss out in draft lottery, will get best of Sixers/Kings first round pick in 2019
Celtics draft lottery primer
If the Cavs start Tristan Thompson, should Brad Stevens adjust his starters?

RED SOX

BSJ Game Report: A’s 5, Red Sox 3 – Sox can’t overcome slow start
Final: A’s 5, Red Sox 3 – Second straight loss
Carson Smith to DL after glove-throwing incident results in shoulder injury

PATRIOTS

Rookie LB Ja’Whaun Bentley is an old-school throwback with legacy of leadership
Salary cap recap 05.15.18: WR Phillip Dorsett reportedly has contract re-worked
First and 10: Hightower, Patriots show support for C's, more from Lane Johnson

BRUINS

David Backes hopes to find consistent production for Bruins going forward

REVOLUTION

Revs receive zoning approval to expand Gillette training facilities – see the renderings
Revolution Notes: Revs prep for red-hot Columbus; Agudelo back to training

ON TAP

5 p.m.: BSJ Q&A — BRobb on the Celtics, NBA Playoffs
7 p.m.: Athletics at Red Sox, NESN (McAdam)
9 p.m.: NBA Playoffs — Warriors at Rockets, TNT
9 p.m.: NHL Playoffs — Jets at Knights, NBCSN

PARTING THOUGHT

<checks series, sees Cavs are down 0-2...> Yep, still works.

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