In the four games that Simmons scored double digits, he averaged 18 points.
Doubted at every turn, the Celtics weren't supposed to get to this point, especially after the loss of All-Star Kyrie Irving. One thing to watch however is that Boston is undefeated at home during these playoffs. If the Cavs role players continue to step up, and James keeps taking his game to new heights, there is no stopping this team short of putting four Hall-of-Famers on the court.
The Cavs no longer have a second isolation threat, but they still have plenty of shooters. He's averaging 34.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. "Despite all the circumstances of guys getting hurt with Kyrie out, with Gordon being out for the whole year, they just keep plugging guys in and keep playing".
Tatum is the second rookie this post-season to notch seven straight 20-plus point play-off games.
But there is no one-on-one defender in the league who can truly limit LeBron James, with the possible exception of Kawhi Leonard, and daring him to beat you is a risky game.
LeBron James has been connected to at least half a dozen teams in the National Basketball Association rumor mill - including the Lakers, Clippers, 76ers - but with no better options than the one he has right now, King James could end up staying in Cleveland once free agency starts for him this summer. Who would have believed Aron Baynes would develop into an impactful three-point shooter and, in a critical defensive sequence Wednesday night with just seconds remaining, held his ground and prevented Joel Embiid from scoring down low (aided no less by swallowed referees' whistles)?
That, ultimately, is what did the C's in.
The Cavs succumbed to Irving's trade demand - he was exhausted of playing in James' shadow - and sent the All-Star to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, a first-round draft pick, forward Jae Crowder and center Ante Zizic.
Philadelphia, which snapped a five-year playoff drought this season, was denied its first trip to the conference finals since going to the NBA Finals in the 2000-01 season.
Marcus Smart made one of two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, and Philadelphia turned it over on the inbounds play to seal it. He went 0-6 from the field. Coming off the bench, he had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
On Sunday, the Celtics begin their series with the Cavaliers for the chance to reach the NBA Finals.
The Celtics don't have anyone of James' stature, but they have a complete team that's clicking.
Only Bill Russell (10), Sam Jones (9), Tommy Heinsohn (9) and Frank Ramsey (8) have played in more consecutive Finals than James, who said he hasn't reflected on the possibility of admission to their group. But also very accurate. "Just staying in attack mode, miss or make on the offensive end, making the right decision playing hard and then on both ends on the glass just trying to clean up as best I can". They paced themselves a bit this season and Stephen Curry's injury could prove to be blessing, since his six weeks on the injured list could leave him with fresher legs. Even though they lost two really good players, they're not lacking for talent. Redick had to become a driver, Covington was mauled defensively, Belinelli couldn't get off anything clean and then launched ridiculous contested shots. Interesting number to lose by. The Cavs start the series in Boston, and they'll have to win at least one road game to make it to the Finals. The 76ers blew multiple leads throughout the series and didn't make the proper adjustments against the Celtics on both the offensive and defensive end. He's not gonna make every insane play every time down. That Cleveland won the series wasn't out of line with what handicappers expected. No one was helped more by Thursday's off day than the Celtics swingman.