Here we are again at the Eastern Conference Finals. Two teams that are very familiar with each other are ready to face off again. The #2 seed Boston Celtics to take on the #4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers. The seeding is interesting, as Boston played better during the season to get a higher ranking, but as we know all too well, the playoffs are a different animal. Without further ado, here we go.
Why is Boston so good? I think there are a couple reasons for it, but let’s break it down. First, they have a coach by the name of Brad Stevens. Stevens is in his fifth year now and has a team that listens to and buys into what he is saying. Since being named the head coach for the Celtics, they have gone to the playoffs every year except his first season. His coaching style works, no doubt about that. Secondly, they are very robust and extremely confident. Who expected the Celtics to get this far after losing two of its stars? When the season opened you had both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. To have gotten this far without them is kind of incredible. Learning to play without these two and having success thus far shows how robust this team really can be. Third, they play defense. Most teams thinks about just out shooting their opponent, but the Celtics make them miss and then capitalize on the other end. And if they aren’t making them miss, they are making it extremely hard to score nonetheless.
Let’s switch gears now. How has Cleveland gotten this far? LeBron, LeBron, and LeBron. I could end my argument with that, but there is a little more to it than what meets the eye. As for the Cavaliers, it really is how well LeBron plays. During the playoffs, he plays at a higher level. He takes it upon himself to win games. He gives them a chance every game. Who doesn’t want a player like that? Secondly, the Cavaliers finally showed up. Kevin love is finally starting to play. Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith are making threes. George Hill is running the offense. After the Cavaliers survived the series against Indiana, they started to play better against Toronto. In that first series they didn’t play well at all. It was every man for himself, and there was no team play. To sweep Toronto, everyone got involved and played as a team. Third, this team has experience. They have been here before. They have won tough games before. They know what it takes to get the job done.
Well, who am I picking? I still have to go with the Cavsliers. The Celtics will win a few games and keep things close, but they are facing a LeBron led Cavs. James will up his game like he always does and find yet another way to beat the Celtics. Without the Celtics having the star power (Irving & Hayward) to match that of LeBron is the biggest reason they will lose.
Prediction: Cavaliers in 7