In my pre-season NBA article, I had Boston vs. Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. I expected this match-up, what I didn’t expect was the Cavaliers to have a completely different roster and the Celtics to be without their star point guard, Kyrie Irving.
Eastern Conference Preview and Prediction:
The Cavaliers had a tumultuous regular season with a ton of player turn over.
They have had over 20 different starting lineups and head coach, Tyronn Lue,missed a part of the season due to health issues. The one constant has been LeBron James. The man the call “The King” had another MVP caliber season. James played in all 82 games and averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and .9 blocks per game. He has been even better in the playoffs averaging 34.3 points,9.4 rebounds, 9 assists 1.5 steals and 1 block per game. Kevin Love has been a double/double machine averaging 14.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. I expect Jordan Clarkson to be the x-factor in this series and he should be able to put up good numbers.
Despite Kyrie Irving playing in only 60 games the Celtics finished the regular season with a 55-27 record. Head Coach, Brad Stevens, gets the absolute most out of his players. Rookie, Jayson Tatum, became the 1st Celtics Rookie to score 20 or more points in 5 straight playoff games. He leads Boston in post-season scoring averaging 18.8 points per game.
Stevens has done a masterful job coaching this team. Other than Tatum, they have 5 players scoring in double figures in the playoffs. Terry Rozier (18 ppg), Al Horford (17 ppg), Jalen Brown (16.9 ppg), Marcus Morris (12.3 ppg) and Marcus Smart (10.6). The Celtics play hard and smart and have overachieved.
They have had a great run in the playoffs and Stevens won’t make it easy for LeBron and company. The same people who are predicting the Celtics will beat the Cavaliers, predicted the Toronto Raptors would beat Cleveland.
It wont happen. The Celtics simply don’t have the play-makers to beat the Cavs 4 out of 7 times. Cleveland has too much talent and depth. James will make sure his team doesn’t lose this series.
Cavs win in 6 Games and James will go to his 8th straight NBA finals.
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