Like him or not, LeBron James might be the best basketball player in the world. His physical tools are obvious, but he also sees and thinks the game better than most. So it is notable that he would have high praise for Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics. In particular because they are the first team that’s really tested the Cavaliers this postseason.
LeBron noted that the Celtics have adjusted quickly to losing their best player.
“It's a difficult challenge because our preparation going into the series was going against a team with Isaiah, so now they're playing a lot differently now, so we're trying to figure out exactly what they're running and things of that nature, so it's been very difficult on us without [Isaiah Thomas] on the floor, but now this is two games that we've been able to see them and we're going to get a better understanding. We should be a lot better in Game 5.”
“They run different things just because of [Isaiah Thomas] being a huge piece of the puzzle for them offensively. So they had to kind of reshape, and that's the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach. You're able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It's been challenging for us to kind of. Plays out of time-out [have been] kind of been killing us and keeping us off balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm, and think we'll be better in Game 5.”
Instead of wasting people’s time with hot takes about how the team may or may not be better without Isaiah, perhaps we should be marveling about how great a coach Brad Stevens is and how much heart and effort this team has put into stepping up when Thomas has been out.