Fresh off a 4-0 sweep of the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James and the Cavaliers travel to Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. And while the Celtics are hurt, LeBron isn’t stupid. He’s not about to take their squad lightly. After all, they are in the conference finals too. Plus, there’s plenty of talent on the Celtics. Not to mention head coach Brad Stevens, who continues to work his magic.
Speaking to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the king makes the following clear:
“I think they are one of the most well-coached teams in our league,” he says. “Obviously, you know what I’ve said about Brad Stevens before and his ability to get the most out of his guys, how great they are out of timeouts, late-clock situations as well. No matter who is on the floor or no matter who has played for them, he can put guys in position to succeed and get the most out of whoever has been in their lineup over the past few years. It’s not just this year.”
But he admits it’s gotten a little out of hand this season. However, that’s because names like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, there’s a huge difference between the two. Hayward didn’t get five minutes with his new team this season. Irving, on the other hand, would play most of the season for Boston before undergoing surgery. LeBron continues…
“I think it has been a little bit overblown this year because of the names that have been out. Obviously, with Kyrie and Gordon and the injuries with those two big guys, but he has gotten the most out of everybody he has ever put in his position since he’s gotten to Boston.
“A lot of people are saying, ‘How can they succeed like this without Gordon Hayward?’ I’ve heard that. He’s been out since the first quarter of Game 1, so it’s like do we even know who they would have (become)? He’s not even been on the team … I get it with the Kyrie thing. He was obviously a teammate of mine for three years, and I know what he’s capable of doing, but they got guys that are damn good no matter if they are young or not; they know how to play basketball and their coach has put them in position to succeed.”
This year, LeBron’s Cavs aren’t quite the same. But against Toronto, they would shine. And while it’s typically LeBron’s show, he did have help last round. But he’s going to need that help and more if they hope to stop the Celtics. Boston might be playing with house money, but they’re a very dangerous team right now.
Game 1 tips off Sunday afternoon. Are you ready?