While the Warriors remain the championship favorites, the Celtics could be the most likely team to upset Cleveland and reach the NBA Finals out of the East. Boston took advantage of the Cavaliers struggles down the stretch in order to clinch the best record in the East and home court advantage through the Eastern Conference Finals. "But it starts with baby steps first and we understand that. We're going to need that same intensity if not more, it's just a different game". Love was named to the All-Star team for the first time since he signed with Cleveland two years ago.
"I don't know if anyone [in the East] has it in them to beat the Cavaliers four times, but having said that, I couldn't have pictured them playing as poorly as they had down the stretch", said Anthony, who was drafted by the Knicks and played for six teams in a 12-season National Basketball Association career.
This year other teams seeing how good it worked for the Cavs the Warriors rested their players during the season also.
But, boy, have they been bad lately. With a shot at redemption two days later at the Philips Arena, Cleveland surrendered a 26-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose its second straight game to the same team. But the Cavs have work to do. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and company will just be too strong and I'll say this series goes the distance even though I think the Raptors could put this one away a lot sooner than that. "If we do that, get our fans involved, get the city really behind us again, I think it could be (as good as 2016). It's just being who I am and knowing exactly who that is and being comfortable with who I am, but not giving anyone any room to make me out to be what they want me to be".
Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, there's plenty of drama to be had in the first round, including a terrific matchup of MVP candidates and a redux of one of the greatest first-round series in league history.
The Pacers, though, are fighting for their playoff lives.More news: Conte stands by team selection against Crystal Palace
How far will Dwyane Wade and the Bulls go?: Despite finishing with the same regular-season record as Miami, Chicago made it to the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's eighth seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker. It will be the franchise's sixth playoff appearance in the last seven years and the first under head coach Nate McMillan. Their last game, the Pacers were in Cleveland on April 2nd.
One thing they did was stay healthy and another big thing to note is that they have LeBron James which means they are always going to be the favorites in the east. "It's going to be tough". IN will cut it down in the second half and maybe even take the lead back since Cleveland is prone to letting teams back into games, but a late take over from James and Irving will push the wine-and-gold to victory to finally get the monkey off the team's back. I'm looking forward to it. What more could you ask for?
Had the Pacers lost on Wednesday, they would've missed the playoffs.
Before the 6-foot-5 guard re-signed with IN on March 30, the Pacers hadn't posted consecutive wins since early February as they slid from a tie for fifth IN the East to the brink of elimination.
"We all did our job to get us into the playoffs", Butler said. I like that team more than I like Boston. The three-pointer was the 25th of the game for the Cavs. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs.
"They're not guys that are going to come down and beat you off the dribble and run pick-and-roll", Lue said. Without having to overanalyze someone's intent - innocent or not - as it relates to a non-basketball play. Everybody has a clear understanding of what needs to be done and individually what they need to do.