Sunday, April 19, 2015

Celtics-Cavaliers Thoughts

Before I talk myself into believing the Celtics will win this series, I'm taking the Cavs in 6 games.  The talent of LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving will ultimately prevail in what should be an interesting series.


I do believe Brad Stevens will use some lineup combinations that will confuse the Cavaliers and will earn the Celtics a win in this series.

Stevens might not have any stars at his disposal but he has enough pieces on his bench to make David Blatt sweat out this series.

One lineup I'm looking forward to seeing is Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and Brandon Bass.

By going "small" with shooters to space the floor, the Celtics will have more options on offense.  That lineup also gives the Celtics their four "plus" defenders on the floor at the same time which is their best (only?) option at consistently slowing down LeBron, Love, and Irving.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see a unit of Thomas and Bradley at guard with a "big" front court of Kelly Olynyk, Bass, and Tyler Zeller when LeBron is off the floor.  All three bigs can knock down jump shots and it would also allow the Celtics to create and exploit mismatches against the smaller Cavaliers.


The Cavaliers have been an interesting team to follow this year.  From the return of LeBron and trade for Love, to the 19-20 start to the season, and the rumors of dysfunction in the locker room, they've been at the top of the NBA news cycle since July.

While their talent will triumph over the Celtics, the tougher and more cohesive Bulls will beat them in the second round. The Cavs just don't seem to click together and while they can survive in the regular season and against an inferior opponent that way, the more talented teams that enjoy playing together will expose that flaw and end their season.

This flaw will surface for one game in this series and they will hand Boston a win that they should not get and it will ultimately cause them to fail.


While a trip to the Lottery offers the hope of a Jahlil Okafor or Karl Towns, qualifying for the playoffs was ultimately in the best interest of the Celtics.

Learning to win and compete is only going to benefit the careers of players like Smart and Olynyk and a winning atmosphere can only help as Danny Ainge and Stevens work to attract better players to Boston via free agency or a trade.

This season should be a springboard for the team to be a competitor in the East over the next few seasons.

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