BOSTON – Tuesday was a fascinating day for the Boston Celtics franchise, an ode to the value of smart management, calculated risk-taking and stability.
Then in the nightcap at TD Garden, Boston and its youthful, team-centric and expectation-free roster punished an older, slower and definitely less-happy Cleveland Cavaliers team 107-94 to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
When the Celtics players were frolicking to the basket in a second-half surge Tuesday, it wasn’t just the circumstances, the relentless crowd or Boston PA man Eddie Palladino’s flowing voice that were getting under their skin.
The Cavs aren’t just battling the ascendant Celtics, they are battling an enemy that has dogged LeBron James teams in the past: It’s organizational fatigue, and it’s very real.
Sign players to large contracts because they fit with James or because they can’t be replaced if they leave in free agency.
The Celtics play without burden and it’s overwhelming the Cavs so far.
There’s no doubt with James as the driving force, the Cavs play as if they have a certain mental edge over opponents.
No matter how this conference finals plays out, it doesn’t change the organizational fatigue the Cavs are fighting.