Series Schedule (ET):
- Game 1: @Boston, Sunday, 5/13, 3:30 p.m. ABC
- Game 2: @Boston, Tuesday, 5/15, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
- Game 3: @Cleveland, Saturday, 5/19, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
- Game 4: @Cleveland, Monday, 5/21, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
- Game 5 (If-Needed): @Boston, Wednesday, 5/23, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
- Game 6 (If-Needed): @Cleveland, Friday, 5/25, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
- Game 7 (If-Needed): @Boston, Sunday, 5/27, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
We’re finally here… the Eastern Conference Finals. Most people picked these two teams to meet in the Conference Finals prior to the season starting, but expected two completely different rosters. The Celtics are without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, while the Cavaliers revamped their whole team at the trade deadline.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the key to the Celtics beating the Cavaliers is shutting down LeBron. We all know that isn’t happening. You can slow down LeBron, but you can’t stop him, and even slowing him is extremely difficult. The key to the Celtics winning this series is making sure that LeBron has absolutely no help at all. Look at the Cavaliers’ first round series vs. the Indiana Pacers. LeBron legitimately won the series himself, but it took seven games. I think that we can all agree that even without Kyrie, the Celtics are better than the Pacers.
Brad Stevens is also a better coach than any that the Cavaliers have faced by far. He’s maximized his young talent of Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, to a point where you wonder if the Celtics would have even been that much better had they had Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
I think that the Celtics have enough to make this a long series, and even have a small chance to win it. However, ever since that SNL skit came out bashing LeBron’s teammates, the Cavs been nothing but exceptional. The Cavaliers will end up being too much for the Celtics, and I fully expect LeBron to have 45, 10, and 10 in the series clinching game. The Cavs will be going back to the NBA Finals again.