basketball

Cavs vs. Celtics: Explica breaks down what to expect

While the Boston Celtics, as a whole, match up incredibly well with Cleveland — even favorably in most positions — the Cavs still have LeBron James.


Kahron Spearman


With the Boston Celtics' Game 5 close-out win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, the upstart team will meet LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second consecutive season. 

 

With the one team Boston they're youthful, high-level skill/length ratio, and impressive moxie guides the way forward, even without franchise-level players Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving (more on him later.)

 

For the Cavaliers, and whether they move onto the NBA Finals, it will begin and end with Kevin Love's play not James.

My entire life and my entire pro careerthis is going to be my 10th yearI've spent the majority of my time at the 4 position and the power forward position. But he sees something out there in me at the 5 spot, and I guess, especially on the offensive end when I have my game going, he wants me to take full advantage of that.

The fact is that Boston has literally nothing on James, whose too strong for any perimeter player that they have, and too fast and skilled for any Celtic big man. Love must fully assert himself in his matchup with Al Horford, on both sides of the ball. When matched up with Aron Baynes, nothing less than a bucket or a drawn foul will do.

 

The Celtics have some great matchups in most areas, but James' free safety tendencies on defensive gaps and the weakside will help during defensive lapses.

There's a cruel irony for Kyrie Irving, who wanted so badly to be traded away from the Cavaliers. His desire was to the extent that he threatened to have a clean-up surgery on his knee a procedure that ended up being necessary and ended his season.

 

Now you have a young Celtics squad and a patchwork Cavs team led by James that made it to the Eastern Conference finals without him.

 

Perhaps it's not the entire story, but it surely suggests something

 

PICK: Cavs in six competitive games.

SOU  RCES