Caris LeVert's postgame flex on Boston Celtics proves how needed their missing piece is

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Caris LeVert had no problem calling out the lack of rim protection the Boston Celtics had in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals; a game in which the Cleveland Cavaliers offense attacked the rim relentlessly and finished 34/58 from inside the arc in what was the biggest in the playoffs by a double-digit underdog since 1991.

“They start the game with Horford as their No. 5, he’s their sole rim protector in that unit,” Cleveland guard Caris LeVert told reporters at TD Garden (h/t NESN). “Then, they have Kornet in the second unit. After that, it’s just those two. I think we did a great job tonight of seeking out the mismatches. We did a great job of punishing switches. When Horford was on me or other guards, we were just beating them and finishing at the rim. I think we pose a lot of mismatches for them that they’re going to have to figure out.”

While the comment was somewhat dismissive of Jayson Tatum, who had three blocks in Game 1 of the series, and Derrick White, who's developed into one of the best shot-blocking guards in the league, it was ultimately true. Those players belong on the perimeter and don't rim-run like the C's missing piece: Kristaps Porzingis.

Kristaps Porzingis may be needed to help Boston Celtics beat the Cavs

The Cavs are reportedly expecting Porzingis to return, and for Boston's sake, they better be right.

Levert and Donovan Mitchell shredded the Celtics on their drives while Evan Mobley faced little resistance scoring in the paint. Without the seven-foot-three Latvian with a seven-foot-six wingspan, Cleveland is getting points way too easily.

Porzingis shouldn't be rushed back, since there are still two potential playoff rounds after this one, but the Cavs proved in Game 2 that they won't roll over. Well, they'll roll over the Cs, not in defeat.

The sooner he returns, the sooner confidence in Banner 18 will return. Because Game 2 was nightmarish in almost every way defensively and it's not as though Boston couldn't use the increased spacing and post-up buckets Porzingis provides.