Lue weighs Thompson starting vs. Horford

Celtics' Jayson Tatum left is fouled by Cleveland Cavaliers' JR Smith in the second quarter during Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston on Sunday

Al Horford plays large role in Celtics' Game 1 win over Cavaliers

Celtics coach Brad Stevens called Thompson "a tough player to guard", and "a great fit for that team".

Additionally, Al Horford dominated against Love, who guarded the Celtics center on 62 percent of the offensive possessions he played, according to National Basketball Association player tracking data. "He's the guy we really, really lean on". "That's a good thing to know".

Al Horford had 20 points for the Celtics and met little resistance from Kevin Love, who has been starting at center for Cleveland.

"It's definitely something we have to weigh", Lue said of moving away from the smaller lineup that brought them dominant results entering the third round. While Lue heavily suggested Thompson will start Game 2, he better hope his Game 1 gaffe doesn't come back to bite the team.

"We weighed (starting Thompson) before the series started, but we'd won seven out of eight and we weren't going to adjust until someone beat us and we didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point", Lue said.

Thompson has made just one 2018 postseason start - Game 7 of the first round against the Indiana Pacers - and he responded with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is expected to join the starting lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.

Getting outscored 60-38 in the paint in Game 1 should have been enough to convince Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue to make a change.

"I think any time you're playing Cleveland, first and foremost, it's about LeBron [James] and then about the shooters and players around him", Stevens offered Monday. "That's unacceptable. Us bigs, we should be pissed off about that just because our job is to protect the paint, so we've got to do a better job of that".

"You've got to give credit to coach because he ends up making the adjustments and being able to key in on the playoffs, whichever the matchup is", said Horford.

Horford said the Cavaliers will be a more traditional team if they do turn to Thompson as a starter.

Love said Monday he thought the Cavs "were a little soft" in the first half defensively, letting the Celtics get open looks and a good feel for the game early.

James saw his six-game playoff win streak in Boston snapped and turned in his worst game of the postseason, with 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting, seven turnovers and a plus-minus of minus-32 offsetting his nine assists and seven rebounds.

"But at the same time, we can't rely on that", he continued. "He's going to approach this game as one he's going to have to lead and bounce back".

"I expect him to have a big response", Kevin Love added.

"Game 1 has always been a feel-out game for me, if you've ever followed my history", he said.

"On the defensive end, we weren't very sharp", Korver said.

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