Isaiah Thomas made a point on Thursday: the Celtics aren't scared of the Cavs, even after a difficult 117–104 Game 1 loss.
“I believe in these guys,” Thomas told reporters Thursday. …“We’re not scared of Cleveland. They’re not the Monstars. They’re not on ‘Space Jam.’ Like, they lace up their shoes just like us. They just happened to play better than us in Game 1, and we’ve just got to protect home court in Game 2 and get the win.”
The allusion to the 1990s cult hit starring Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes aimed to drive the point home that the Celtics — glossed over by many thanks to how well the Cavs have played — aren't going down without a battle.
”We’re not just happy to be here,” Thomas added. “Like, we want to win this series, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to let everybody in this world know that we’re for real, and we’re one of the top teams in the NBA, and with this series we’ve got to go out and show the world because like everybody knows, everybody is counting us out. And we’ve been there before, though, so it’s nothing new for us.”
Boston won the East's top seed with the best regular season record in the conference, but were outclassed by Cleveland and a red-hot LeBron James. The Cavaliers have yet to lose a game in the playoffs.