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Heading to Boston: Cavaliers expecting a tough foe and a tough crowd

13 May 2018, 01:02 | Jodi Jackson

Isaiah Thomas Verified account @isaiahthomas

Isaiah Thomas

And if he beats the Celtics again and advances to his eighth straight NBA Finals, James would join a club now exclusive to Boston players with legendary status.

Having already faced Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ben Simmons, the Celtics head into the Eastern Conference finals with a lot of practice defending big, explosive wing players. Twice, the Cavs won by more than 30 points, with all of their wins by double digits. The Cavs don't care about home court in the East.

"It's hard to pick a focal point on Boston because they do have so many threats", Korver said. However, the Cavs team LeBron captains is very flawed. With the Heat down 3-2 in the series, James scored 45 points on 19 of 26 shooting and added 15 rebounds as Miami forced a Game 7 and went on to win consecutive titles. And in his past six games on Boston's parquet, he's averaging 34.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. Love averaged 20.5 points per game in the second round, shooting almost 48% from the field. The Celtics had no one score more than 20 per game.

Just the history, you look up in the rafters, and you see all the greats that's either played there or the previous arena they played in.

That, ultimately, is what did the C's in.

With Thomas a mess and the season slipping away, Cavs general manager Koby Altman traded him on February 8 to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Now, all playoffs long, and this is well documented, Thomas was dealing with the loss of his sister.

Check out the full TV schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals below.

Said Brown: "Definitely not a one-on-one thing, it's definitely going to be a team thing".

IT didn't play well, especially in game two. Not only are the Cavs 1.5-point road favorites, but nearly all of the early money is on LeBron and Co.to cover the spread, according to the Action Network.

Hayward went down with 6:50 left in the first quarter on opening night, breaking his tibia and dislocating his ankle after he was knocked out of the air trying to catch a lob from Irving and landed wrong. They spread the floor with shooters and make defenses choose to either guard one on one against elite scorers, or help and give up open three pointers. "(Boston executive) Danny Ainge has done a good job of getting guys in that fit that mold of Celtics basketball and they've been playing well". The Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets might as well be the NBA Finals, since both teams would be huge favorites against either the Celtics or Cavaliers. The Cavs have swept the Raptors in back-to-back seasons and eliminated them for the third season in a row. Back then, it was the first round of the playoffs The Cavs were the 2nd seed and the C's were 7th, of course.

"Probably within the last five years, I bet [the Raptors have] improved in winning percentage every single year". They lost by 13. Redick had to become a driver, Covington was mauled defensively, Belinelli couldn't get off anything clean and then launched ridiculous contested shots. Improving his three-point shooting from 38 percent in the first round, to 42 percent in the second round. Interesting number to lose by.

No doubt about it, the Sixers got outplayed by Boston in the playoffs - and last year's draft.

While achieving Red Auerbach status may not be on Stevens' radar, in just his fifth season there's no question the 41-year-old is also beyond being the wide-eyed former Butler University coach who arrived in Boston. Boston led 61-52 at halftime.

Outlook: After Boston's intense injuries and Cleveland's massive makeover, this series looks far different than last year's matchup or what was projected earlier this year.

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