First, they'll have to win a road playoff game which they have done only once in seven tries thus far. "They made adjustments after Game 1". Cleveland is making 9.6 three-point attempts per game against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, fewer than the team made against the Toronto Raptors (11.5) or Indiana Pacers (10.4).
Tatum doesn't care. His thoughts are consumed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, the Eastern Conference Finals and needing one more victory to advance the Celtics to the NBA Finals. It sure has looked at times as though he relishes these moments, though James said otherwise at Cavaliers shootaround Friday.
"I didn't think we played well tonight at all", said Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue. "I haven't always been successful, obviously". His line in his last elimination game before that streak? Now, the lack of an alpha like injured Kyrie Irving capable of creating his own shot is sticking out with every 40-point game leBron James produces.
After getting outrebounded by at least 10 rebounds in Games 3 and 4, the Celtics were able to outwork Cleveland on the boards in Game 5 with 45 rebounds as against the Cavs' 39. I can't say it enough: "We're one win away from going to the [NBA] Finals, especially after everything we've been through". If he does, this series won't just rank as an accomplishment for James - it will be one of his best.More news: Watch the Battlefield 5 reveal with Trevor Noah: WWII and free DLC
"Well, first and foremost, with regard to Al and his composure and his poise and kind of a steadying influence, I think that he has a great effect on all of our guys in the locker room", said Brad Stevens.
The change also represented a return to the lineup that the Celtics used to open games for the majority of the year. "The unfortunate events of injuries [the Celtics] have had has allowed him to get better faster than they expected", James said.
When the NBA's All-Rookie team was announced earlier this week, two players were voted in as unanimous first-team selections: Philadelphia's Ben Simmons, and Utah's Donovan Mitchell. He held Tristan Thompson to just one point and one assist on 31 possessions as the primary defender and Larry Nance Jr. managed just two points in 18 possessions against Baynes. "When we're all locked in, it's hard to play against us on the defensive and offensive end". "It just happens because I've been able to play with some great players".
Knowing James, he'll come out for Game 6 looking like the most vibrantly awake human being alive and we won't have to discuss this again. "Definitely going back to Cleveland on Friday, we had to take care of business, and that's what we did". Because it's given him an opportunity to make fail plays or make mistakes and learn from them and still be on the floor.