Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preview: Three things to watch

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Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preview: Three things to watch

Meanwhile, the Celtics' only win was a three point victory that they got in Cleveland. He was officially shut down in April with a knee injury. Would you rather see LeBron James make it back to the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers or are you rooting for the Boston Celtics to knock off King James and Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals?

On the heels of their most successful regular season in franchise history, the Raptors set their sights on a long post-season run that they hope takes them all the way to the final.

Fast-forward seven months, and the starting lineups are unrecognizable from October. You always would get to have that on your resumé forever. James, who famously left Cleveland in 2010 and signed with the Miami Heat, could bolt again if he feels the Cavs and 76ers are both trending in different directions. I think both teams will be doing a lot of switching on defense due to their players' versatility. But both sides looked strong in the previous round and are ready to battle.

Love was attacked by teammates January 22 for missing most of the Oklahoma City game and practice the next day.

Thomas' emotionally powered engine ran the Celtics to the conference finals, only for him to ultimately fall to injury after game two.

Through the first two rounds, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Terry Rozier have started all 12 games.

James' longevity is remarkable and at 33-years-old, 15 years since he was drafted as the number one pick, he's playing better than ever. This time, Boston is No. 2 - and has an injured Irving - and Cleveland is No. 4. It would've been thrilling to see James go up against Irving in the Eastern Conference Finals, but we'll have to settle for this Cavs vs. Celtics contest. The series that everyone wanted and expected during a convoluted offseason has come to fruition.

And you know what? "I'm sure he'll speak to all of our players individually - we've all played against Cleveland now a bunch, in the postseason, too - the last couple of years". In typical LeBron fashion, he completely defied the naysayers by playing just as well this series as the last. He played 43 minutes despite battling leg cramps in Sunday's 105-101 win, and scored 45 points.

The Celtics assembled a superteam in the off-season to threaten Cleveland's reign in the East, in part thanks to a major trade with the Cavaliers that has not brought a lasting impact. Clarkson, Hill, and Hood, all acquired at the deadline, combined for 44 points.

The Celtics were underdogs for the first four games of their second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers, and only a minor favorite despite playing Game 5 at home earlier this week.

LeBron averaged 34 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists against the Pacers. He has more postseason points against Boston than anyone has scored against a single opponent in the playoffs in National Basketball Association history.

Whether it's with the athleticism of Jaylen Brown, the strength of Marcus Smart, the size and lateral quickness of Semi Ojeleye, or the guile of Marcus Morris, the Celtics intend to send waves of defenders against the best player in the world.

Embiid was also on the end of a controversial call when Aussie centre Aron Baynes got away with not giving up a foul on his Sixers' rival when the Cameroon star went to the rim with Philadelphia trailing by two-points with less than 20 seconds to play.

"It's very hard. I feel like these playoffs have been great for our group, because the first round was tough with Giannis, a guy that attacks and you always have to be aware of him, and then (Joel) Embiid and Simmons, and now LeBron", Al Horford said after practice yesterday. "He's obviously a special talent". "He comes to work every day".

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