Predatory LeBron, the center battle and more keys to Celtics-Cavs

Everyone has their favorite games within series. Game 1 of some series — including Houston-Golden State — can take an outsized importance. Game 5 of a 2-2 series is pivotal. After that, one team will be facing elimination, so the stakes are naturally higher.

In Game 3, Thompson and Nance stopped worrying about Boston’s ball handlers, aside from perhaps a token pause of recognition, and tracked Horford wherever he went:

They vaporized Horford. He took four shots. A total of 19 Boston possessions ended directly via a Horford pick-and-roll, meaning one of the two participants — or a Celtic player one pass away — finished the trip with a shot, turnover, or drawn foul, per Second Spectrum tracking data. That player was Horford only three times. Only one of those three possessions produced a good shot.

Before Game 3, Horford had been the last Celtic to touch the ball on almost 30 percent of possessions in which one of his screens led directly to a shot, according to Second Spectrum.

There is a lot more going on here.

Not to be dismissed is the story that claimed Belichick last season was restricting access of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, which reportedly peeved Brady. I believe there was plenty of fire causing the smoke that was that story. Brady also can’t be happy about the departures of Nate Solder, Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis in free agency, plus the trade of wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Brady has been sending mixed messages this offseason. “I plead the Fifth,” he said earlier this month when asked whether he feels appreciated by the Patriots. His follow-up to that quote “Everybody in general wants to be more appreciated at work. (Belichick) is not the easiest coach to play for, (but) he’s an incredible coach, we’ve Cheap Reversible Jerseys had Cheap Pirates Jerseys a great relationship and he’s the best for me.” got less attention.

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