Mark Jackson reveals how the Cavs surprised the Celtics in Game 2: “I thought the key was going small

Mark Jackson reveals how the Cavs surprised the Celtics in Game 2: “I thought the key was going small”

The second-round series between Boston and Cleveland is knotted up at one game apiece heading into Saturday’s Game 3.

The Cleveland Cavaliers blew out the Boston Celtics in Game 2 by a final score of 118-94 at TD Garden on Thursday night. The Celtics who are the overwhelming favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2024 NBA Finals have now lost home-court advantage in this best-of-seven series.

Boston lost just four of its 41 games at the TD Garden during the 2023-24 regular season. Since the start of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the Celtics have dropped two of their five home games.

Former NBA point guard Mark Jackson credited the Cavaliers’ decision to roll with a small starting lineup with Evan Mobley playing center as a factor in their emphatic Game 2 win.

“I thought a great job making adjustments by J.B. Bickerstaff. Great job by the Cavs of being ready and prepared. Very easily, they could have thrown in the towel the way they were man-handled in Game 1. People thought this series was over. I thought it was over. But give ‘em credit, they responded in an emphatic way.

 thought the key was going small. If you don’t have a post presence as a big, and you don’t have Jarrett Allen, no sense in starting big. You might as well start small across the floor outside of Mobley, because with no Porzingis, the Boston Celtics don’t have a legitimate post threat that can hurt you over the course of the long haul during the game. So, going small opened up the floor, gave Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland more room. I thought the key was Donovan Mitchell came out aggressive. I thought Garland played very well. But the key to me was Caris LeVert. We talked about his ability that wasn’t on display in Game 1. I thought he was lacking his confidence and was a little tentative and passive on the offensive end, but he’s a legit scorer,” Jackson said.

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