NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: Cavaliers and Celtics Rematch

Jaylen Brown of the Celtics dunking against the Cavaliers
In learning from his rookie campaign, Jaylen Brown proves to be a much-needed boost for the Celtics in his second year. (Photo by Erik Drost, Flickr) CC License].
  • Veteran Cavs square off against youthful Celtics
  • “Scary Terry” and company have carried the injury-ridden Celtics
  • Can LeBron James be stopped in his quest to reach 8 straight finals?

For the second year in a row, the Boston Celtics find themselves face-to-face with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 is set for Sunday, May 13th at 3:30pm EST at TD Garden Arena in Boston.

In the hopes of this matchup coming to fruition, fans have experienced a roller coaster of emotions and expectations when dreaming it up. With each passing month, injuries, roster changes, and emerging talents have curved our outlook on this matchup.

So here we are – a veteran Cavs team against a young and inexperienced Celtics squad.

Team Stats

Cavaliers
VS
Celtics

47.6 Field Goal % 45
37.2 Three Point % 37.7
77.9 Free Throw % 77.1
42.1 Rebounds 44.5
23.4 Assists 22.5
13.3 Turnovers 13.3
111.6 Defensive Rating 103.8

What you need to know about the Boston Celtics

With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward inactive due to injury, the Boston Celtics have turned to supplementary players like “Scary Terry” Rozier and rookie stand-out Jayson Tatum to carry the load. They’ve stepped up far greater than imaginable and it’s been incredibly fun to watch.

In improbable fashion, the Celtics have overcome adversity, every step of the way, and done so without flinching.

Brad Stevens builds upon his coaching reputation as he finds a way to yet again push his players towards over-achievement. When you break it down, the Celtics are a better version of the Indiana Pacers: they have a better coach, defense, and bench. And we know how much the Cavs struggled to beat the Pacers.

Jaylen Brown has stepped forward this post-season, proving himself to be the boost of energy this team so desperately needs. Averaging 17 points and 5 rebounds, as well as 41% from downtown, Brown helps contribute in the biggest of moments.

What you need to know about the Cleveland Cavaliers

The supporting cast of Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Kyle Korver, and JR Smith showed up in round two and it made a massive difference. In the first round, the Cavs didn’t have one player, other than LeBron, score more than 20 points in a seven game series. Against the Raptors, the Cavs had four 20-point scorers and one 30-point scorer.

The Cavs are 5-0 with George Hill and Tristan Thompson back in the lineup. All the pieces are slowing coming together at the perfect time.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James. Should I type anything more?

“Averaging 34.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 9.0 assists this post-season, don’t expect LeBron James to stop anytime soon. The best the Celtics can do is slow him down.”

James has had a few godlike performances this post-season, including a series of obnoxiously good turn-around faders against the Raptors. You could literally hear fans sighing as the King continued to pour in shot after shot after shot.

LBJ has gone about his business, merely doing whatever he pleases out on the hardwood. Averaging 34.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 9.0 assists this post-season, don’t expect LeBron James to stop anytime soon. The best the Celtics can do is slow him down.

Head-to-Head Results

Cavaliers
VS
Celtics

7-3 Record 3-7
5-5 ATS 5-5
4-6 O/U 4-6
112.6 Scoring 99.6
59.3 Halftime Score 47.0
8-2 Last 10 6-4

Game 1 Prediction: Cavs Keep It Rollin’

Forget “Scary Terry.” A rested LeBron James is the scariest thing of all, period. If the Cavs can walk into the ACC and steal two games from the top-seeded Toronto Raptors, they can surely do it to the injury-ridden Boston Celtics, too.

Cleveland comes out swinging, and James doesn’t miss a beat. I’ll take the under in Game 1 (204) as the Cavs roll to a 108-91 victory.