NBA Playoffs 2018: Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1 live stream


No matter who's on the floor, James will be facilitating - his 99 assists are second this postseason only to the eliminated Pelicans' Rajon Rondo - but the Cavaliers need to help James out, because if someone gets cold, the Celtics can exploit it.

He was too busy trying to figure out how to avoid being buried under it.

"I think it has been a little bit overblown this year because of the names that has been out". "Because none of the good ones are reachable". Cleveland also shot over 41 percent on 3-pointers after shooting just over 32 percent against Indiana.

The Cavaliers visit Boston on Sunday for the opening game in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals, with the victor to face either regular-season pace-setter Houston or defending champion Golden State in the NBA Finals.

But five minutes into the season, Hayward was lost to a gruesome leg injury, and five months later, so was Irving to sap Boston's firepower.

Yet, Boston won 55 games during the regular season and increased its win total for the fifth consecutive season under Stevens. Right when he got to Boston, coach Brad Stevens sat him down and explained that his ultimate role would be to defend LeBron in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James has carried the Cavs on his back at times, averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 11 playoff games for the Cavaliers, who edged in in a seven-game first round before sweeping Eastern conference top seed Toronto in the second round. Some thought this may be the year he finally fell short thanks to a rocky regular season, but the Cavaliers are rounding into form after demolishing the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in four games. "I think we've shown that throughout the season". You've just got to play, [and] play to win.

Despite that, one Celtic in particular is ready for the challenge. There's also been some rumblings that LeBron may stay in Cleveland.

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Even without these star players the Celtics have still managed to win two playoff series behind rookie sensation Jayson Tatum, dazzling point guard Terry Rozier or "Scary Terry", sophomore stud Jaylen Brown, and a fundamental center in Al Horford or "average Al".

Stevens agrees with that assessment and has remained true to his style by blending into the background in public, instead waiting for the huddle or practice to make his voice heard. But take a step a back and look at the situation.

The Celtics assembled a superteam in the off-season to threaten Cleveland's reign in the East, in part thanks to a major trade with the Cavaliers that hasn't brought a lasting impact.

LeBron James is the Cavs' main wrecking ball aspiring to headline his 8th straight NBA Finals. It was my first time being in the playoffs, being able to go against one of the best players in the league, if not the best.

While LeBron could make it easier on the Cavs by explaining exactly what he wants, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on "The Woj Pod" this week that he does not expect James to do that.

"They know how to play basketball and their coach knows how to put them in a place to succeed". "It's not just this year".

"From our standpoint, I feel like it's been a lot of fun", he said. Personally, I think I'm probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi [Leonard, of the San Antonio Spurs].