It was a long bumpy road, but the Celtics have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Their reward? Well they get to play LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers. Most people are not even giving the Celtics a fighting chance against the Cavaliers. I really believe that the Celtics can take two games from the Cavaliers. I am predicting that the Cavaliers win this series in 6 games. The only reason why the Cavaliers are going to win this series is LeBron James. Who on the Celtics can really stop him? Crowder is a decent defender, but he can not lock LeBron down. BUT anything can happen in the playoffs. If a key player for the Cavs goes down, then that can open up a window for the C’s. My first two predictions for the Celtics have been correct so hopefully they actually prove me wrong this time.
What the Celtics do have is home court advantage, and that should help them. The Boston crowd is one of the loudest and best crowds in basketball, so the Cavs will be rattled when they enter Boston. If the Celtics bench can play like they did last night against the Wizards, then they will have an even better chance of winning this series. The only problem with that, is that the C’s bench is very inconsistent. So the likelihood of Kelly Olynyk going off for 20 plus points again is slim. Olynyk, Smart, Brown, Rozier, and Jerbko are going have to play their A game.
The Cavaliers have been hanging out for 9 days, but I do not believe that will affect them. The Cavs are an elite team and LeBron James will not have his team be unprepared for the Celtics.
What the Celtics need to do is play with tenacity. They are going to have to play a little dirty if they want to win this series. Foul LeBron, Love, and Irving hard! Get the Cavs out of their element so they are forced to take bad shots.
The Celtics can not let Thristan Thompson take advantage of them in the paint. I think Horford will do a good job of guarding him, but Thompson is still a way better rebounder than him. The Celtics struggle with grabbing rebounds and defending the paint, so they will have to keep Thompson, Love, and Frye off the boards.
If the Celtics do end up losing this series then as a fan you can not be too disappointed. At the beginning of the season, did anyone think the Celtics would be in this position? I did, but I thought this would be the furthest point they would reach. It is tough to take down a team that has the best player in the world, and elite point guard, and a stretch forward that can knock down inside/outside shots. The future does look bright for the Celtics if they can keep their core group around. The C’s also have the chance to receive the number one draft pick in tonights lottery selection. Lets hope that the ping-pong balls can bounce the right way for the C’s.
Once again, my prediction is Cavalier’s is 6 games. Cavs will win game 1, 3, 5, and 6.
Written By: Connor Strayer (@Big_C19)