Game 2 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics was a historic affair — one the Celtics would like to forget.
The 130-86 loss was the worst Eastern Conference finals defeat in Boston franchise history and the biggest deficit for a No. 1 seed in postseason history.
Meanwhile, Friday night was the 13th straight playoff victory for the Cavaliers (dating back to Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals), matching the Los Angeles Lakers in 1988-89 for the longest postseason win streak in NBA history.
If you watched the broadcast through to the end, you know all that. So here are three things you probably missed in Cleveland's embarrassment of the Celtics in Boston.
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
One minor adjustment cost the Celtics any shot in the first quarter
Boston went small from the opening tip, inserting Gerald Green into the starting lineup in place of Amir Johnson.
We'll get to that adjustment in a second — as well the Cavaliers' response. But the Celtics made one other change in the opening twelve minutes that blew this game wide open.
By now, Brad Stevens knows his team can't beat Cleveland in the half-court, so he tried to get the Celtics out in transition in the first quarter. The thing is, the Cavaliers are one of the best transition teams in the NBA, both offensively and defensively.
As Boston sped up the game, Cleveland forced a number of turnovers and bad shots. That resulted in the Cavaliers opening up their first double-digit lead, and they never looked back.
This should serve as a cautionary tale for the Warriors. Golden State loves to run — but when they do, they can get sloppy.
The Cavaliers are counting on it.
David Butler IIDavid Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
There's a reason Boston is missing open shots
The world's most optimistic Celtics fan might think Boston still has a chance, since this team keeps missing a ton of wide-open looks early, digging insurmountable deficits. If only the Celtics could knock down a few of those jumpers we'd have ourselves a series, because it's a make-or-miss league, right?
That ignores Cleveland's part in Boston's ice-cold shooting. The Cavaliers are abandoning the Celtics' worst shooters, daring them to chuck from deep — and the playoff pressure has been too much for guys like Marcus Smart (0-for-4), Jaylen Brown (0-for-3), and Kelly Olynyk (0-for-3).
Cleveland has focused its perimeter defense on Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley instead of trying to guard the role players, and Boston's starting backcourt is a combined 5-for-22 from deep.
So no, the Celtics aren't "just missing shots." They're finding out how fierce the Cavs' defense can be when the defending champs lock in.
Bob DeChiaraBob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James played a little bit of center, because he can
If you blinked, you probably missed it.
Early in the second quarter, the Cavaliers went to a Richard Jefferson/Kyle Korver/LeBron frontcourt, with The King playing the five-spot.
The move was a rare adjustment meant to counter Boston's own small-ball lineup and give Tristan Thompson a breather. But we're seeing that unit with increasing regularity in the conference finals — probably because Cleveland's getting ready to match up with Golden State when the Warriors play Draymond Green at center.
The Cavaliers are getting in some practice reps against the Celtics to make sure they're firing on all possible cylinders ahead of the Finals. When you're this dominant, you can use your conference finals foe to send a message to your real opponent.