It is the matchup we all hoped for, but not exactly how we wanted it. The Celtics and the Cavaliers meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals, this time with different rosters. On the morning of October 17th, NBA fanatics were excited to see the new look Celtics with the additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward take on LeBron and the Cavs. It was a preview for ECF, but we all know how that played out. Hayward goes down and is out for the season, and a couple of months later, Kyrie’s knee forced him to miss the playoffs as well. Sometimes you completely forget about Isaiah Thomas.
With revamped rosters, and young up and comers making a name for themselves, this ECF should not disappoint. LeBron is chasing his 8th consecutive Finals appearance, and Brad Stevens is out to prove that he truly is the Coach of the Year. Is it going to be the savvy Vets of the Cavs, or the young bucks from the Celtics? We all know LeBron is on a mission. His game has done the talking as he has performed in every game during the playoffs, including two game winners at the buzzer. Who on the Celtics will be able to stop him? Al Horford and Marcus Morris have the size to bang, but won’t be able to slide with the King. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have the athleticism, but LBJ will just post them up. How do you defend that? Brad Stevens will come up with a game plan.
Will the supporting cast show up this series? They did not against the Pacers, but did against the Raptors. JR Smith, Kyle Korver, Kevin Love, Tristian Thompson, all need to produce in order to help LeBron. For the Celtics, it has been the pick and roll of Terry Rozier and Horford that has led to great success. Scary Terry put Eric Bledsoe in a body bag and has been balling out ever since. Rookie Jayson Tatum is making the 76ers look bad for trading up to take Markelle Fultz first overall. Tatum has 7 consecutive games of 20+ points while Fultz had 5 straight DNP for the 76ers.
Cavaliers in 6.