The Cavaliers know what they’re walking into with Sunday night’s Game 7 at TD Garden.
The Garden, a noise factory if there ever was one, has been the key to the C’s perfect 10-0 home record this postseason. It overwhelmed The Greek Freak and the Bucks in round one, shocked The Process and Sixers in round two, and has given the Celtics three wins in as many tries in the club’s third-round heavyweight fight against the Cavaliers.
But Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue wants his club to forget about all of that with tonight’s win-and-in contest.
“We throw it all out,” Lue said when asked about their struggles at TD Garden. “It’s one game left to go to the NBA Finals. We understand that. We understand the blueprint to win. Two of the biggest keys to the game are taking care of the basketball — no live turnovers — and getting back in transition. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”
“For me, I don’t put too much added pressure on myself,” LeBron James said of his preparation heading into Game 7. “I just go out and play my game. It’s a Game 7. It’s something that you wish you had when you’re done playing, but more than that, it’s just basketball for me. I know what I’m capable of doing, and I’m going to trust everything I put into it.”
The Cavaliers will have to make do without the services of Kevin Love, though, as the 29-year-old has been ruled out for Game 7 with concussion-like symptoms, and as a result remains in the NBA’s concussion protocol. Love was knocked out of action just five minutes into Game 6 when he collided with the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum. Love was averaging a double-double through the first five games of the Eastern Conference Finals, with 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The 31-year-old Jeff Green seems most likely to start in Love’s place.
Green contributed 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 31:21 off the Cleveland bench in Game 6.
Lue’s Cavs are 2-0 in Game 7s under his watch since 2016, including a Game 7 win over the Pacers in round one this postseason.