The series between the two best teams in the Eastern conference will get under way tonight. The number one seeded Boston Celtics will look to stun the number two seeded, but heavily favorited, Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics are coming off a battle of a series that went the distance of seven games against the Wizards, a series in which it came down to an unexpected hero taking the heart of game seven in Boston.
Kelly Olynyk came off the bench and dropped 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, all in a matter of 28 minutes of action. It was a much needed boost, and alongside Isaiah Thomas‘ 29 points and 12 assists, the Celtics were able to outlast the Wizards and home and set up a top dog style Eastern Conference Finals.
The Cavs, on the other hand, have had yet another long break after a series. They swept the Pacers in the first round and then took apart the Raptors, who they swept, last round. They haven’t played a game in ten days, May 7, so they will be extremely rested coming into this series.
LeBron James has been an absolute monster in the eight playoff games he’s played so far this post-season. He’s averaging 28.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game over that stretch. He’s also managed to shoot 58 percent from the field. One concerning stat for the Cavs is that James has played 42.4 minutes per game in the playoffs so far, which is extremely high, but they have had back-to-back sweeps in the first and second round so he should be well rested coming into this series.
Matchup to Watch
The matchup between Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas will feature tight handles, amazing finishes around the rim, and lights out scoring. Kyrie hasn’t been amazing in the playoffs so far, but he’s been doing just fine. He’s averaging 23.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He’s only been shooting 28 percent from three-point range, so that will need to improve for the Cavs, and Kyrie, to be at their most dangerous.
IT is averaging 25.4 points and 6.5 assists per game through the first two series, but he is coming off of a monster series against the Wizards. In that seven game series, IT averaged 27.4 points and 7.1 assists per game, while managing to shoot 46 percent from behind the three.
Don’t expect a lot of lock down defense to be played between these two guards, but get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be a show on the offensive end. These are two of the best scoring guards in the Eastern Conference, even the NBA, and they will get to showcase that all series long.
Here are some highlights from Irving and Thomas. Irving’s are against the Celtics and Thomas’ against the Cavs.
Stats via ESPN.com
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