Tommy Suggs, longtime South Carolina color analyst and former Gamecocks QB: It’s just like a running back. You can stop a great running back four times, and the fifth time, he breaks it for 60 yards. And Clowney was the same way.
Jeffery: He didn’t even run straight. The quickest way to the ball is always a straight path. His path was actually about two or three yards to his left. Then he got back up and still hit the running back as he was getting the ball. You have to understand how fast you have to be to do that.
They’re not quite at full health yet with Thomas still being out and Tristan Thompson still recovering, but those two aren’t going to completely solve these issues.
Does this mean the Celtics are far and above the Cavaliers? Definitely not. We should still give the benefit of the doubt to James and company because, quite simply, they have one of the best players in the world and maybe this season’s MVP.
But this game shows us the gap isn’t as far apart as we may have thought it was and it’s closing with every game the Celtics play. Watch out, Cleveland.
Opponent winning percentage: .504; 15th-hardest. The Rams finished first in scoring after finishing last in 2016, becoming just the second team to complete that turnaround according to the Elias Sports Bureau (the first was the 1965 49ers). What makes that even more impressive is the Rams played a group of opponents who finished the season above .500.
Opponent winning percentage: .461; sixth-easiest. The Eagles matched a franchise record with 13 wins and finished fourth in FPI. Playing the sixth-easiest schedule might have helped. The Eagles went 9-0 against teams who finished .500 or worse.
Next season, they’ll likely be terrible again and the Celtics will be rewarded with their unprotected first-round pick.
As part of the trade with the 76ers, the Celtics received the rights to the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick, so long as it falls between picks No. 2-5. Otherwise, the 76ers keep it.