Milwaukee, see you later. Philadelphia, there’s the door. But Cleveland? Are the Boston Celtics going to shock the world again?
Stop me if you’ve heard me before: LeBron James will be playing against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.
For LeBron, it will be the seventh time playing in Boston in the postseason. In the past, he has had some of the biggest moments of his career against the Celtics. In 2010, he played his last game as a Cavalier before running to Miami. Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 in 2012 was the best game he ever played: 45 points on 19 for 26 shooting, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and the destruction of an entire city.
Now, LeBron’s team is at its weakest point coming into Boston. It isn’t saying much, they still have LeBron, but not since 2012 have the Celtics even sniffed the advantage.
Brad Stevens is at the height of his powers. Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier are playing the best basketball of their careers to this point. Al Horford is leading a young team, despite missing key players, that is still showing the ability to win.
But is even that enough to dethrone the King? Will LeBron, playing one of the best if not the best stretches of basketball in his career, beat the Celtics again? Or will it be the Boston Celtics, playing as a group, reaching the goal a few years early, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010?
Here is how you should be able to tell. These are some of the factors to look for when the Celtics and Cavs meet in the Conference Finals for the second year in a row.