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TOPIC: their stride after losing five of

their stride after losing five of 2 months 2 weeks ago #4797

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They’ve survived amid turmoil for months Derrick Nnadi Color Rush Jersey , their season morphing into the NBA’s most compelling reality show – or, as some have called it, spectacle.

The must-watch Cleveland Cavaliers have been hardened by the nonstop drama around them. So it’s not a surprise they’re calm despite trailing the Boston Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.

”We know what it takes,” coach Tyronn Lue said. ”We’re down 0-2. No need to panic.”

”We know what we’ve got to do,” added All-Star forward Kevin Love on the eve of Saturday’s Game 3.

The Cavs have been in dire straits before in the postseason.

Just two years ago, Cleveland trailed 2-0 and then 3-1 in the NBA Finals to Golden State before coming back to win in seven games and end the city’s 52-year championship drought. And back in the 2007 playoffs, LeBron James rallied the Cavs from a 2-0 deficit against Detroit, the hardwood king commencing his legacy by scoring Cleveland’s final 25 points during a Game 5 road win.

But while Cleveland has some comeback history on its side, Boston has momentum and the Celtics intend to keep it.

”We’re just gonna try to use it,” said forward Marcus Morris, ”and ride it.”

As expected, James responded from a sub-par performance in Game 1 by scoring 42 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in Game 2. Still, the Cavs lost and the lack of production from several teammates, most notably guards J.R. Smith and George Hill. They have been totally outplayed by Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier so far, and that could be deflating.

Not to the Celtics Mike Foltynewicz Atlanta Braves Jersey , who gained confidence in shrugging off James’ haymaker.

”That’s a game-changer in itself,” said Morris, one of the many defenders Celtics coach Brad Stevens is using on James. ”LeBron came out and did everything he could. To his guys, they see that and they still came up short. That’s a feeling going back up, it kind of puts you in a mood you don’t want to be in.”

Speaking of moods. James, who hasn’t spoken to the media since Tuesday’s game, screamed an obscenity in frustration while working on his jump shot following practice. He made 12 straight before a miss, but James, who is seeking his eighth straight Finals, knows he’s going to need to be near perfect from here on out.

James, Love, Smith and Tristan Thompson are the only holdovers from Cleveland’s 2016 title team, which mounted its historic comeback in the Finals and now must rally again.

”I was talking to some of the guys in the training room and I was telling people it was already the Eastern Conference finals,” Smith said. ”Being in this situation repetitively for the past couple years, I don’t want to say you get numb to it because you don’t want to take it for granted because obviously guys don’t have this opportunity too many times Cheap Baker Mayfield Jersey , but this season alone has been an extremely weird year and we just got to figure it out.”

To the outside world, Cleveland appears in trouble. They’re facing a younger, more physical team that has been written off several times already.

To the Cavs, this is just another bump in the road. They’ve already staved off elimination against Indiana.

”We played a Game 7,” Lue said. ”The danger’s not like we come out and don’t play well tomorrow and lose, it’s over. We still have games to play. It’s not like it’s a Game 7. They did a good job taking care of their home court. They played well. Now we’re back at home.”

ROAD WORK AHEAD: The Celtics haven’t traveled well in these playoffs.

They’re just 1-4 outside Boston and their shooting percentages have dipped on trips to Milwaukee and Philadelphia. But after losing three road games to the Bucks in the first round, the young Celtics showed poise in stealing a Game 3 win in Philadelphia that has convinced them they can win in Cleveland.

”We’re pretty confident,” Brown said. ”Just as confident as we are at home. It’s different between being on the road and at home, just the energy disparity. At home, it’s for you, away it’s against you. But if you do what you’re supposed to do and you are who you are, it’ll show home or away.”

NEED FOR SPEED: The Cavs know they need to play faster. On too many occasions in Games 1 and 2, Cleveland was slow bringing the ball up the floor, which allowed the Celtics to get back and set up their defense.

Lue has been harping on his players to quicken the pace.

”We have to come out with a sense of urgency to attack early, don’t ease into the game or let this team off the hook http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-michael-dickson-jersey ,” Lue said after practice Friday. ”We know they play well at home and they had two good games, so now it’s our turn.”



Yes, Predators forward Filip Forsberg has watched the video of his jaw-dropping goal against Colorado a couple times, and even he agrees putting the puck through not only his legs but a defender’s with a dangle ranks as his most creative yet.

”I had some opportunities, but I haven’t finished any of them off,” Forsberg said. ”But it was good.”

The Colorado Avalanche showed that they can give Nashville fits with their speed and too-young-to-know-better attitude with the youngest roster this postseason. Having a chance in this first-round Western Conference series against the NHL’s Presidents’ Trophy winners will mean figuring out a way to slow down the Predators’ top scorer.

Forsberg’s two goals in the third period not only rallied Nashville to a 5-2 win in Game 1 , the forward is averaging more than a point per game for his career against Colorado. Forsberg now has 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) and five game-winning goals in 21 games.

He also outscored Colorado’s top line as Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had assists setting up the Avs’ opening goal.

Coach Jared Bednar said he thought his Avalanche, playing without top defenseman Erik Johnson (knee injury), did a nice job on Forsberg most of the game. Sam Girard played 22 minutes, 7 seconds in his postseason debut against the team that drafted him.

”He uses his skill and beats a guy one-on-one,” Bednar said of Forsberg. ”The go-ahead goal at 3-2 was a lucky bounce. They shot it wide, and he got to the right spot on the ice and hit maybe his stick and a shin pad. He just goes to the hard areas.”

The Avalanche are catching Forsberg at a bad time. The 23-year-old forward from Ostervala, Sweden, now has 32 points in his last 31 games after leading the balanced Predators with 64 points in the regular season.

The Predators have a chance Saturday in Game 2 at something they haven’t managed yet as a franchise: Taking a 2-0 series lead in their own building.

”We’ve got to be better to get this done Authentic Adam Boqvist Jersey ,” Forsberg said.

Some things to watch Saturday:



Devils at Lightning, Tampa Bay leads 1-0 (3 p.m EDT, NBC/CBNBC)

The Lightning look and sound like a team rejuvenated by playing meaningful games again.

The Atlantic Division champions spent the final three weeks of the regular season essentially biding time while awaiting the start of the playoffs. Captain Steven Stamkos said it was important to re-establish an edge in the series opener, and now the top seed in the Eastern Conference can take a commanding lead on the underdog Devils.

”There’s a wealth of experience in this room, with guys that have been in this situation,” Stamkos said. ”I think you could tell, once the puck dropped, that we were very determined to set the tone and play the right way.”

About half of New Jersey’s roster entered this series with no playoff experience. Coach John Hynes expects that to be less of a factor in Game 2.

”I don’t really want to get into what the exact message with our team was, but it (basically) was don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Hynes said. ”We have to make sure we understand the areas we’ve got to be better at, and I think mentally make sure that we’re ready to play a certain way.”



Maple Leafs at Bruins, Boston leads 1-0 (8 p.m. EDT, NBC)

The Bruins may be without forward Tommy Wingels, who did not skate Friday after taking a hit from Toronto forward Nazem Kadri. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said Wingels was being evaluated by doctors and lists him as questionable as the Bruins try to take a 2-0 lead.

If Wingels can’t play Authentic Lamar Jackson Jersey , a possible replacement could be rookie forward Ryan Donato. Cassidy said the former Harvard star could make his postseason debut Saturday. Donato skated with Noel Acciari and David Backes in practice. Cassidy said they have options with Brian Gionta as a right wing and Danton Heinen, who can slide over.

”I think Ryan played really well when he was here for his 12 games,” said Cassidy. ”We plan on using Ryan, just want to pick the right time.”

The Maple Leafs know they have to play better on special teams after giving up three power-play goals. They also spent Friday waiting to learn what punishment the NHL would give Kadri.

”I don’t know what they’re going to do so might as well get prepared,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said.



Sharks at Ducks, San Jose leads 1-0 (10:30 p.m. EDT, NBCSN)

The Ducks looked largely lifeless as they gave away their home-ice advantage by failing to maintain the momentum from their impressive finish to the regular season. This is a familiar pattern for the veteran Ducks, who have lost Game 1 at home in four of their last five playoff series over the past three seasons. They won two of those series.

Perhaps Evander Kane’s gritty two-goal performance in his playoff debut will get the Ducks’ attention, reminding them that they can’t play into the Sharks’ hands by skating on the perimeter of the ice and failing to generate consistent traffic in front of Martin Jones.

Or maybe the Sharks are hitting their stride after losing five of their final six games in the regular season. San Jose was better on both ends to win the opener 3-0 .

”They played how you’re supposed to play in the playoffs,” Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano said of the Sharks. ”They played patient and played the right way. When you get chances, you have to score on them. You just execute the game plan. They did that. I.

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