What the Cavs are saying about the Celtics ahead of Game 1

What the Cavs are saying about the Celtics ahead of Game 1

Which team will LeBron James play for next season?

The Cavs visit Boston today (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) for the opening game in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals, with the victor to face either regular-season pacesetters Houston Rockets or defending champions Golden State Warriors.

Smart stood with his hand heavily bandaged and his arm in a sling at his YounGameChanger Foundation bowling event on March 19 just days removed from right thumb surgery. ESPN Stats and Information - responding to a query from Fivethirtyeight's Nate Silver - said it was the first time since at least 1991 that a team trailing 0-3 was that heavy a favorite in Game 4. He was then involved in almost every decisive play in the final minute of his team's Game 5 clincher against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart can both take turns on James without being totally overwhelmed by his strength or quickness. The Cavs will need their second-best player to be great as well, or else that opens the door for Celtics coach Brad Stevens to preying on weaknesses. He's been in four straight playoffs.

"It's tough to see him over there, when we did play against him, because he's a big part of what we did", Lue said. We understand he's gonna make some insane plays. "Marcus is a big, strong, competitive guy, but you have to guard LeBron as a team".

They needed seven games to dispose of the Indiana Pacers and then rampaged through the Raptors in four straight.

The despite the disappointment of their playoff exit, the young 76ers were sounding a note of optimism after an overachieving season that included 52 regular-season wins and their first playoff series victory since 2012. That said, does Morris have a point?

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[Jayson Tatum] is not scared, he's not afraid and he's always been that type of kid. "Those are the types of things that he brings". 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?

It is still quite likely that James will obliterate anything the Celtics try to do, but they will make sure it is as hard as possible. Jonas Knox (filling in for JT The Brick) and Tomm Looney discuss LeBron's future in Cleveland & tell you why this season is proof that James is looking for a reason to leave.

He spent the first two months in Cleveland trying to get healthy, but wasn't the same when he came back and never connected with his new teammates. You'd think it was over. "We knew what to expect against Toronto and that first series was a hell of a series for us in a number of ways, but preparation was definitely key with in".

"I feel like we more together (than last year)", Rozier said. "That's being real physical with this team".

"A lot of people are saying, 'How can they succeed like this without Gordon Hayward?' I've heard that", James said.

"There's been a lot that's happened throughout the season with us and for them", Cavs forward Kevin Love said Thursday as Cleveland prepared for the May 13 series opener in Boston. "I think there's still room to grow and we can still do better, but I think that series really helped us grow as a team".

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