LeBron James has been a monster throughout the 2017 NBA playoffs, leading his team to a perfect record with averages of 34.8 points, 9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game on 56 percent shooting from the field and 43.4 percent shooting from three-point land. He is dismantling opponents with his constant basket drives, efficient outside shooting, and smothering defense.

Just when people thought James was regressing because he was coasting through the season, he is proving that he is still the best player in the NBA yet again.

It doesn’t seem like James is slowly down at all. In fact, he is playing better than he did in last year’s playoffs so far.

Brad Stevens praises James for his play

James’ high level of play isn’t going unnoticed around the league. First, Dwane Casey praised him for turning on the switch and playing at an extremely high level, and now Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has a few positive words for the three-time champion.

LeBron was a mismatch for the Celtics in Game 1, as he successfully exploited their defensive woes. Celtics coach Brad Stevens was helpless against the four-time MVP, and he praised him after the game. "It’s hard to believe, but he’s better than when I got into the league [four years ago].

A lot better. Just as you get older, you gain more experience, see more things. I didn’t think he could get any better after that, but he is.”

Those are some strong words from Brad Stevens, who came into the league in 2013 when James was playing for the Miami Heat. Most people consider James’ tenure in Miami as his prime, but the 32-year-old is still playing at a high level and looking better in the playoffs each year.

James is breezing through the East

None of these Eastern Conference teams have had an answer for LeBron, which is why he is sweeping his way through the playoffs. Dating back to last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won 12 consecutive playoff games and are 9-0 to start the 2017 post-season. Although the Cavaliers didn’t earn home-court advantage in the regular season, they quickly took it away from the Celtics in Game 1.

How do the Celtics contain LeBron?

James cannot be stopped, but the best thing to do is try and contain him. The Celtics are undersized and unmatched, as they simply don’t have shot blocking in the paint and not enough strength around the perimeter to hold James down. Boston must pick their poise, whether they want others to beat them or LeBron to beat them. They need to throw hard double teams on him and be more physical.

Ultimately, James will always find a way to be effective, but the Celtics need to play harder and cannot be soft. Game 2 is on Friday, so we will see if Coach Brad Stevens figures something out by then.