"The goal for that change was we're going to have to play big some", Brad Stevens told reporters after the game.
"Starting from 2009 when I got my chance to coach with Doc, I just studied everything he did - as far as doing press conferences, as far as how he handled powers in our league like Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett", Lue said in a conference call yesterday. "For some reason, we were just so locked in, and engaged, as we have been in the past".
Except, of course, if there's a Game 7 on Sunday in Boston. Slotting Baynes as a starter freed up a bit of positional flexibility in the corresponding changes to Stevens' substitution patterns.
"I'm fine", he said. While they managed to get back into Game 4 and knocked the lead down to single digits, they could never quite get over the hump and eventually lost. We kind of stuck around with the same lineup. "But I don't think that's specific - not like there's multiple times where we necessarily missed Jayson on that".
"Our focus - LeBron's focus - is to win", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said.
In 21 games in which his team has faced elimination in the playoffs, James is averaging an NBA-record 33.5 points. "So it was the right move".
Nothing is guaranteed. But the Celtics have 48 minutes, then 48 more if they need them.
But the Celtics have also managed to cover the spread on the road in each of the previous two rounds, and keeping Game 6 close would at least send a message to their opponent that they will be in for a tough time in Game 7.
James won't have been helped by recent speculation surrounding his future. He defended well, plugging the lane with greater success than in the series' previous tilts and working admirably when forced into switches with smaller, quicker players.
"Aron was great tonight with his energy and physicality", Celtics' All-Star forward Al Horford told reporters. To do so, they'd have to buck a trend in this year's playoffs, in which they are just 1-6 on the road in the postseason. He has to do a lot for that team, obviously everybody knows.
Down three games to two, with a must-win Game 6 set for 8:30 p.m. This game made it feel like it is not impossible to slow down James, but that is the exact mentality James will be able to exploit back at home.
It's equally impressive what LeBron has been able to do during the postseason.
Those are problems to be dealt with when they arise, however.
Boston's defense, again, was smothering. The Celtics boast an athletic advantage in almost every man-to-man matchup, and were appropriately happy to keep their shape, allow isolation and the two-man game, limit the Cavs to one shot and keep them out of transition.