There is no way Boston is going to beat Cleveland in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, but the Celtics will win a game.
Looking to put a stop to James' dominance over the Eastern Conference will be the rather upstart Boston Celtics and their electric guard Isaiah Thomas.
Here are some things to watch as the Eastern Conference finals begin Wednesday.
But here we are now, in the middle of May, with the C's getting ready to face LeBron with the No. 1 pick in their back pocket. Instead of bringing in a rent-a-player or two that could have blocked some of the team's youth from bigger roles, he made a decision to eliminate any potential obstructions. "But we kept going and stayed the course".
Before they began, Thomas received the worst news of his life when his younger sister, Chyna, died in a vehicle accident in their home state of Washington. It also marked the latest big performance by Thomas, in a playoff run that began in the haze of his younger sister's death in a vehicle accident.
Understanding the adverse circumstances, it wasn't expected for Thomas to play, but he did. And not to mention, the team has a highly coveted first round pick from Brooklyn, which they received as part of the deal that sent Garnett and Pierce among others to the Nets.
It can use the No. 1 pick to draft Markelle Fultz. Even though the Cavaliers finished with the lower seed heading into the playoffs, Boston has dealt with a much more hard path to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Win or lose next week against the Cavs, they've done that much this season.
Watching Thomas, it was obvious that he wasn't the same.
"A friend called me and said "Be at your best when your best is needed" and my best was needed tonight", Olynyk said after the win.
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In the words of another Boston legend, Bill Russell: "Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory". The Celtics have up to nine players they like to play, and that could tire the Cavs.
Finally, in a showing that mimicked the triumphant, statistical impossibility of the Patriots win over the Falcons, Barcelona managed to pull of the greatest comeback in the history of the Champions League. A Game 1 loss at home wouldn't have doomed the Warriors-the Spurs themselves found that out last series-but at least it would have been a loss.
The Cavaliers won the season series with the Celtics 3-1, winning both home games and splitting the games in Boston.
Every superstar has career defining moments, and they usually take place on the court.
Today is a day to appreciate, not honor, what happened Monday night and, really, during the last few weeks.
Boston advanced with a 115-105 Game 7 victory over the Washington Wizards Monday night. What would follow was a performance for the ages, with Thomas reaching extraordinary measures on his way to a 53-point showcase. Against the Wizards and Bulls, the Celtics switched Isaiah over on the worst offensive guard/forward, like Otto Porter for Washington.
After the blow, Thomas responded with back-to-back three-pointers, but the hit to the mouth also required Thomas to receive dental surgery while under anesthesia. Lue said. "Let's ride it while he's been playing great". Boston has outrebounded its opponent just once in 13 playoff games. And while Cleveland was beaten out by Boston for the conference's top seed, James and his teammates served notice with a 114-91 dismantling of the Celtics on their parquet floor on April 5. Many are calling this series a four- or five-game series, but the Celtics have the talent to compete.
That type of toughness was something Boston had gotten used to in players like Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, too. While the latter played through the '87 Finals with a broken foot. Their pain payed off, combining to bring the city of Boston the Larry O'Brien trophy on four separate occasions.
But Washington also had 15 turnovers, leading to 17 Celtics' points.
The Cavaliers (8-0 in 2017 Playoffs) are the first team in National Basketball Association history to start 8-0 in consecutive playoffs. We played them four times.
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