Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: How gritty Celtics can win the East

May 13, 2018, 14:26
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: How gritty Celtics can win the East

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While the Western Conference finalists reached this round in pretty standard fashion, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have each travelled a non-standard path. He's just kind of a complete player.

It's quite the opposite, actually. "He was obviously incredibly hard for us to guard past year and we wish he was playing". They're thinking championship and they don't care who thinks they're a longshot.

But these Celtics are used to using doubt to fuel them.

LeBron James moved past both Jerry West (859) and Wilt Chamberlain (842) during the 2017 Eastern Conference finals while stopping the Celtics in five games. You dream about being able to play in big games in the NBA, and even when I got to the NBA that was one of my only goals: to be as great as I can be, to play in big games in the NBA and be remembered, and I think I've done that in my career.

It's down to two teams out east with Game 1 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals tipping off Sunday at 12:30 p.m. "It's going to take a full team effort, that's what we plan on doing".

He seems relish going on the road, and he seems to relish in particular tearing out the hearts of Celtics fans. And Kyrie Irving, obtained from the Cavs, is sidelined after left knee surgery.

The Celtics are hoping to slow James by throwing a bunch of bodies at him, starting with Brown but also Al Horford, Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum, and Semi Ojeleye.

The numbers this season don't really back up Morris' claim.

According to Bleacher Report, Morris said: "I think probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi".

"I think IN did a great job against Cleveland IN that series".

Boston on the other hand has melded as a team because of heart and great coaching.

The Celtics doubters have been stubborn. Boston beat Philadelphia three times as an underdog - in Games 1, 2 and 3 - and covered the spread in Game 5, the one time they were a narrow favorite.

As the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker this post season, Horford has stepped up.

The disrespect has been everywhere, and the Celtics have feasted on it.

To fully understand the history between James and Boston, let's take a look at each of the times they met in the playoffs. I didn't see no physicality, I didn't see any of that. "We lean on him a lot".

The Celtics however could potentially end LeBron's reign in Cleveland for a second time. Oh, and Boston could have three or four first-round picks in 2019. James is now playing in another stratosphere than any other player in the playoffs. He is averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 11 games in the playoffs. The Boston Celtics are shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc and 76.2 percent from the free throw line. The Cavs eliminated the Celtics in five games last season. "It was definitely a good time, "Circumstances are a little different now". With Stevens now in his fifth season, the culture has been set and the talent is in place.

"We talked about it prior to the playoffs, nobody should love a challenge more, nobody should have more fun doing it", Stevens said. "And, again, that's not a given". "So they really wanted me here, and not only because of that, just the toughness and things like that".