Boston Celtics: 5 keys to conference finals vs. Cavaliers

Boston Celtics: 5 keys to conference finals vs. Cavaliers

He's not gonna make every insane play every time down.

When the Boston Celtics open the Eastern Conference finals Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston will be in a familiar position: Playing as a home underdog in Game 1, and entering a series as a major betting underdog despite being the higher seed.

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. But if the Celtics can make those baskets a little more hard, they might be able to get a few key stops. "Both teams have raised their level of play and been through it, but are here now and have to lay it all on the line".

The Celtics and Cavs each needed seven games to get through the first round. "He's the best player in the game".

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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.

However, things are a lot different on the court for the four-time MVP victor when he is marked by one certain Celtics star, and it will be interesting to see if Boston's head coach Brad Stevens utilizes him in this way. "Al Horford did an wonderful job this series, got to give him a lot of credit". Even though he's a young guy by age, he's not young by experience. "Despite all the circumstances of guys getting hurt with Kyrie out, with Gordon being out for the whole year, they just keep plugging guys in and keep playing".

"We got a lot of heart and a lot of talent on this team, nobody expected us to get this far", said Tatum. J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver were bit players in last year's conference finals, taking a combined nine shots per game.

Many Celtics fans adopted the "well, we'll get 'em next year" mentality when Hayward went down with that gruesome ankle injury on opening night last October.

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"That's one of the things (Danny Ainge) said when I first got here, that I was one of the guys they felt as though could guard LeBron", said Morris.

[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".

Though they scuffled through a mediocre regular season and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, they've once again turned it on in the postseason, with LeBron James playing perhaps the best basketball of his career.

After two impressive series victories against the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, Boston rides into the conference frinals with as much momentum as any of the four teams left.

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"Our fight picks up", he said on Saturday. It would be a great story and probably a better matchup for the critics to analyze when the Finals roll around. You'd think it was over. "I think our guys have done a good job doing that". "That's being real physical with this team". But that was about it, as the Heat contained everyone including Rose to win the series 4-1 and begin James' NBA finals streak. "We have a lot more bodies to take on that challenge". Unfortunately Toronto got swept, but, like I said in the beginning, it looked very easy. He demolished last year's top-seeded edition, shooting close to 60 percent from the field.