In what many predicted would be the eastern conference finals at the start of the season, the Cavs and Celtics do battle. Injury to Kyrie Irving has robbed us of what would have been the major storyline, but this will still be an epic series.
Cavaliers Are LeBron And Others
As usual, the Cavaliers have been led to the finals on the back of LeBron James. Arguably one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron has had more work to do this season. The roster was overhauled at the trade deadline as an ageing, fractured squad was torn to shreds. Gone were Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert. Nearly half the team gone.
In came Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr, George Hill and Rodney Hood. And up went the pressure on LeBron James. Much chaos ensued as the Cavs fought to find their identity and lineups that would work. Eventually, some semblance of normality resumed, with LeBron taking over games and dominating. But the Cavaliers came into the playoffs as only the number 4 seed.
The Celtics Are A Team
The Celtics have had a much different season. Rookie phenom Jayson Tatum looks made for the top table, and Al Horford has been dominant. Kyrie looked to be the next genuine superstar before his injury, and Jaylen Brown has the best third-quarter fg% in the league. The injury to Irving rocked the Celtics, and de-railed what was an impressive season.
They have found their way back to winning ways in the playoffs, although not without troubles. A seven-game series against the Bucks was a surprise. But this young team seemed to learn a lot from that series. In the second round they dismantled the very talented Philadelphia 76ers 4-1. It was a series that showed us that the Celtics are for real, and they may be ready to win this season.
Eastern Conference Finals Prediction
And so the Eastern Conference Finals is coming down to Man vs Team. The Cavaliers are the epitome of a one-man team. Sure they have a good roster, and no-one is doubting the talent of players such as Kevin Love. But this team goes as far as LeBron takes them. If he has a bad game, they are doomed.
The Celtics have a great deal of inexperience on their roster, but they also have the raw talent in depth. This is a team that has overcome adversity from the first quarter of the first game of the season. Let’s not forget the horrifying injury suffered by Gordon Hayward. So the number 2 seed is missing arguably it’s best 2 players for this series.
But LeBron James is the best player of his generation. He has gone into The Garden before are demolished a good Celtics team with the Heat. If anyone things LeBron can’t do it they are wrong. But the wear and tear of a long playoff run, after a brutal season mentally for the Cavs must surely take some toll.
Prediction: The depth and overall talent of the Celtics will prevail in 7 games