Nick Wright reacts to Boston falling to LeBron’s Cavs in Game 4: ‘This game was lost in the 1st quarter’

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In his discussion surrounding the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, Nick Wright reacts to Cleveland defeating Boston in Game 4, revealing what LeBron's Cavs did differently to equalize the series at two all. Who takes Game 5?

- So I want to address things Cris mentioned in reverse order. So Brad Stevens. The reality is Ty Lue has made some adjustments in games 3 and 4 that Brad Stevens has not adjusted to. You-- this game was lost in the first quarter. In that first quarter, Al Horford got two shots. That made it six total shots for the Celtics' best player in the five opening quarters being played in Cleveland.

They were outscored by 46 points in those opening 5 quarters in Cleveland. That is an adjustment Brad Stevens needs to figure out how to make, where the Celtics have been at an enormous advantage all year long. Where I've talked about them starting games up essentially 10-0 before the ball is tipped, because of how they're going to be out of timeouts.

- Ty Lue is playing him to a stalemate out of timeouts, and the Celtics have been awful where they are typically great. That end of the quarter stuff, understanding time, score, situation. There was a play last night where Stevens is screaming for his guys to take it out. They don't. They end up-- Jaylen Brown, I think, ends up missing a dunk. Goes back down the other way.

So execution wise they haven't been as good as they had been in the post-season home or away, but particularly at home. On LeBron, it was an odd LeBron game. Only three assists. Seven turnovers, most of them totally needless turnovers. Trying to make the a triple plus pass when he didn't need to. But the way he scored those 44 points, it was methodical, and it was so-- if you watched the game without ever checking a box score, I don't think you'd ever thought he had 44.

Because he never had one giant burst. He had 11 in the first, 11 in the second, 13 and the third, nine in the fourth. It was, if such a thing exists, a quiet 44 point game from LeBron, particularly because he wasn't also getting other guys involved with the assist. And then lastly, the Cavs played one great quarter of defense.

They played a great first quarter of defense, then I thought they lapsed back into a lot of their bad defensive tendencies that had hurt them in Boston. But when you win the first quarter by 15 points, and the other team is offensively challenged, it's going to be hard for them to mount a sustained comeback.

- Have the Cavs figured out now, do you think, how to beat Boston? How to deal with their adjustments? How to contain Al Horford? Is this the kind of play you're expecting to see now when it shifts back to Boston?

- I mean, it's a great question. I thought that even though they lost game 2, and going back, looking at game 2 yesterday, before game 4 was played, I thought that Cleveland gained some control, even though they didn't win game 2. They've played 192 minutes, Jenna. And the Celtics have trailed 122 of them. So it's 2 to 2, and sometimes is when you get the wins, and when you get the losses.

But I would say right now the Cleveland team, in a three game series, Cleveland is in more control than I think I do. I trust them a little bit better. Yes I do, because I believe they can win one game in Boston. And what the Celtics has shown me on the road, I don't think they can win that one game coming back to Cleveland, game number 6.

- CC broke it down by a minute by minute standpoint. But and the Cavs-- the Celtics won the first and second half of game one, and the second half of game two. So there have eight halves of basketball, those are the three halves the Celtics won. Cleveland controlled the first half of game 2, and they've controlled every part of the games, except for a stretch in the fourth quarter yesterday, of these two games back in Cleveland.

And once again, and this is what is, I think, concerning for Boston. Boston loses game 3 because the Cavs go 17 of 34 from three. Yesterday they only make eight threes. Yesterday they turned the ball over nearly 10 times more than Boston. Much like game 3, LeBron gets all this help, but no one gets even 15 points.

And so it was a multitude a players chipping in seven here, nine here, 11 here. But Kevin Love had a bad game, save two plays in the fourth quarter. JR, for the second straight game, he hit three threes, but that was the entirety of his offensive contributions. It's not like the Celtics are being slayed by, well, Love went 25 and 18, and there was just no answer for him. The Cavs are getting a little bit from a lot of guys, and they've had two consecutive really good LeBron James games.