Cavaliers vs. Celtics Game 1

2018 NBA Playoffs

2018 NBA Playoffs

Larry Drew cast the Cavs' ballot - it's unclear for whom Drew voted. The two squads are barely recognizable from last year's conference finals clash, and have even changed from their last regular-season tilt.

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris said Saturday the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is the only player more capable of defending Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James than himself.

Stevens said to NBA.com: "It's totally a collective effort". Tatum scored 25 points as the Celtics won to advance to the next round.

"Indiana traded Paul George, they said they were going to be last in the East", Lue said, in crediting Pacers coach Nate McMillan. S--, I think IN did a great job against Cleveland IN that [first-round] series.

It's a lot to ask, but the Celtics have surprised the first two rounds.

Windhorst said much will depend on what the Cavaliers do with the first-round draft pick they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets.

In dissecting this matchup of coaches in the Eastern finals, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone arguing for Lue to have gotten votes. That Cleveland won the series wasn't out of line with what handicappers expected. No, play Cedi Osman. The Cavs are seasoned and now what it takes. They had to tear up the roster on February 8 when neither Lue nor the players could make the mix of talent here work. The Cavaliers lost three of those games. Will Tristan Thompson be an asset for the Cavs, or will the Celtics render him ineffective? They were the third-best defensive team in the National Basketball Association in terms of points per game in the regular season and second for field goal percentage.

As the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker this post season, Horford has stepped up.

"That's one of the things he said when I first got here, that I was one of the guys they felt as though could guard LeBron", Morris said.

There's been plenty of talk about the Cavs being Toronto's bugaboo - they eliminated the Raptors the past two seasons with not much trouble.

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"As a competitor you want to be in the moments, you want to thrive in the moments, and we have the opportunity again to be able to do that".

"We've got to try to make it as tough as we can. I think it's been designed that way so guys can just develop and learn as they go", Horford said. "I'm pretty sure I think he's going on this trip". He was great against Cleveland this season while he was coming off the bench. They were almost bounced in the first round by Indiana.

Stevens is 41. He's never had the Cavs' talent.

The Celtics however could potentially end LeBron's reign in Cleveland for a second time.

Lue, 40, has LeBron. Because they're on TV all the time, we're watching them every night, just like everybody else is.

The guess is Morris is going to be one of a few different Celtics to take a crack at James.

Pundits and fans will give Stevens the edge over Lue heading into this series.

"I'm going to get a lot of rest from here on", said LeBron, who could afford to score a second lowest 29 points in four games because his four fellow starters combined for 66 points in the series-clinching triumph. "I'm a little older, a little more experienced".

"I don't think it's a secret", Green continued. He was obviously a teammate of mine for three years and I know what he's capable of doing, but they got guys that's damn good, no matter if they are young or not, they know how to play basketball and their coach has put them in position to succeed.

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