The Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Boston Celtics a reminder that they're the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champions in Game 1 of their playoff series.
The Cavaliers didn't need or care about home court advantage to open the series, walking into TD Garden arena and dismantling a team that was still riding the high of surviving a seven-game series against the Washington Wizards.
The Celtics are going to have to adjust their game plan to have a chance at stopping the runaway freight train that is the Cavaliers. Cleveland guard JR Smith think he knows what Boston will resort to to survive Game 2.
Smith was asked what he expects from Boston after the Game 1 blowout and believes the Celtics will get down and dirty as they dig deep to avoid stumbling into an 0-2 hole.
"[I expect] for them to come out swinging, playing scrappy like they do. They've been playing like that all year. Whenever their backs up against the wall they tend to play better, just like we do.
"We've just gotta expect that and understand there might be dirty plays, cheap shots, whatever, coming from the other side just because they're fighting for their lives at this point," Smith said.
The reality of how dominant LeBron James and the Cavaliers are set in, though, and Boston definitely has its back against the wall once again in these playoffs.
Boston isn't a stranger to this kind of talk, either. They were embroiled in controversy after Kelly Oubre lashed out at Celtics' big man Kelly Olynyk for setting what he felt was a "dirty" screen. Draymond Green chimed in about how he agrees that Olynyk is a dirty player.
It wasn't the first time Olynyk's come under fire for this. When he was boxing out Kevin Love during the NBA Playoffs 2015 NBA Playoffs, Olynyk wrapped up Love's arm and dragged him down, dislocating his shoulder and forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason.
The Cavaliers are very familiar with the No. 1 seed in the East, and quite frankly even playing dirty may not be enough to stop the roll James and company are on. Cleveland has flipped the switch as the defending champions and look light years ahead of their Eastern Conference competition.
The Celtics, even if they fall to LeBron and the Cavaliers, are sitting pretty either way. They cashed in on landing the No. 1 pick, landing the top selection via the Brooklyn Nets draft pick they acquired in the trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.