CLEVELAND — The historical implications of tonight’s Game 6 are not lost on the Celtics.
A win would do more than punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.
It would continue the franchise’s undefeated streak of winning playoff series when they open with a 2-0 series lead.
It could potentially end LeBron James’ tenure with the Cavs.
And then there are all the benefits that the current crew of Celtics will surely benefit from because of the team’s unexpected success advancing to the NBA Finals.
Still, none of that stuff matters to Jaylen Brown right now.
All of his focus, all of his attention is locked on to one thing right now - finding a way to win tonight.
“I try to focus on what’s in front of me,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “I try to keep the guys around me focused on what’s in front of them. Everything is what it is. You can think about that stuff when the season is over. But right now, there’s still a lot of basketball to be played. Everybody has a job to do. We don’t have time to think about the impact we’re making; we just have to keep on making it.”
Here are five under-the-radar storylines to watch heading into this pivotal Game 6 between Celtics and Cavs in Cleveland:
LEBRON AND TURNOVERS
The Celtics defense hasn’t been able to contain LeBron James as much as they would like, but they have forced him into more mistakes than he’s accustomed to. In his first 11 games of this postseason, James had just one game of six or more turnovers.
In the five games against Boston, James has turned the ball over six or more times in four of the five games.
Currently averaging 5.8 turnovers per game, the last time he averaged five or more turnovers in a playoff series was against the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics when he averaged 5.3 per game.
GAME 6 HISTORY
The Celtics are 31-30 all-time in Game 6 matchups, which includes a 20-24 record on the road.
Meanwhile, LeBron James is 12-9 in elimination games, averaging 33.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists with an effective field goal percentage of .528.
Coaches and players talk all the time about playing four quarters of good basketball, but each of the first five games have been greatly influenced by what happens in the first.
The two teams have been separated by at least 13 points in four of the five games.
If you’re wondering why it seems Al Horford’s production has declined in this Cleveland series, a lot has to deal with touches; or in Horford’s case a lack of touches.
Against Cleveland, Horford is averaging 54 touches per game which is down from the Milwaukee (75.1) and Philadelphia (66) series.
STAT TO TRACK
Rebounding has been more than just something to pay attention to.
It has been the true difference-maker in this series with the winner of every game in this series coming away with the edge in rebounding.
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