Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers – 8 ET TNT
Nearing the end of the regular season the Cavaliers faced the Celtics in Boston, falling short of what would’ve been a memorable come from behind win. During the final few minutes of that game were words exchanged between teams and each team’s respected big names. Attitudes and egos will be in full effect heading into Game 1 of Round 2 on Saturday night as the Cavaliers play host to the Celtics inside a jam packed Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
The big question for the Celtics will be if they can settle down the Cavs crowd early. Controlling the energy level inside the arena can help keep LeBron James’ spectacular plays under control as well. Obviously, everything starts and ends with LeBron James when preparing to face the Cavaliers. It’s all about picking your poison wisely because King James will always inject you with whatever poison you decide upon selecting from his arsenal.
Do the Celtics want the pass-first LeBron, the aggressive drop-50 LeBron, or the scary you-can’t-stop-either, watch-me-do-both LeBron? If I’m Doc Rivers and the Celtics, I’m going with the aggressive drop-50 LeBron. Allowing LeBron to drop 50 isn’t a big deal when it comes to effecting your chances of winning if you can completely shut down those around him. We all know LeBron’s going to come out playing, but if you can limit how well his counterparts play in Game 1, that can really mess up the Cavs chemistry. On top of LeBron’s teammates losing their own confidence with poor performances, LeBron and the rest of the Cavs team will be faced with having to hear the media’s questioning of if LeBron James has enough support.
While most of the NBA fans would agree LeBron does have enough support in Cleveland, if there was ever a team in the Eastern Conference that could prove it wrong, it’s the Boston Celtics. Clearly the Celtics are an experienced group of guys with long track records of getting the job done year-in and year-out. Their aging-all-star team type lineup will be tested early this series, walking into the series as huge underdogs, something they’re definitely not used too in Round 2. Do the Celtics have enough talent to take down the Cavaliers? Of course they do. But do they have a solution for LeBron James? Absolutely not, the man who led his team in EVERY team statistic during the first round (Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks) will show up in Game 1 as the you-can’t-stop-me, watch-me-do-everything LeBron James. His city, his fans, his teammates, and of course King James himself is in that Cleveland State of Mind!
Cavaliers- 102 Celtics- 91