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The path to Eastern Conference supremacy has been blocked by a Lebron James led team for the past seven years. His Cleveland Cavaliers stand right in the way of the Boston Celtics continuing their surprising playoffs run. One of these teams will have to take a hold of this series if they want to advance to the NBA Finals.
Keys To The Series
The Celtics have had a total team effort while surviving some key injuries this post-season. Their strength lies in their ability to play defense and spread the ball around. Six Celtics players averaged double digits in points led by Jayson Tatum’s 23.6 mark. With that many scorers on the floor, its hard for teams to double team any single player and it leads to open shots when the doubles do come.
Cleveland has looked more like a one man show for most of this post-season with Lebron James (34 points per game) pretty much doing it all. He received a big boost from his supporting cast in the last series. The Cavs will need to pound it inside and take advantage of the lack of rim protection. If they don’t settle for threes they should be in good shape. Forcing their way to the free throw line will keep fast breaks and scoring runs to a minimum.
Matchup To Watch
The point guard matchup of Terry Rozier and George Hill should be interesting. Rozier has come into his own as a starter during these playoffs. His spark gets the Celtics going and he has had some big games. Conversely, Hill has been a calming force first the Cavs. His solid defense and veteran savvy should help neutralize Rozier’s play.
If you look at the numbers, these two teams are almost evenly matched. However, it’s hard to bet against LeBron James. Cleveland wins a hard fought series 4-3.