Cavaliers vs Celtics – Eastern Conference Semi Finals Preview!

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Following a thrilling seven-game series against the Orlando Magic, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to conquer the mighty Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

The Cavs concluded their first-round series on Sunday, with a 106-94 Game 7 victory. Leading the charge on offense for Cleveland with 39 points was all-star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, while power forward/stand-in center Evan Mobley blocked five Magic shots to lead the defense. Mitchell led the team in scoring during the series at 28.7 points per game, including a ludicrous 50-point game in Game Six.

In the regular season, Mitchell led in points per game with 26.6, center Jarrett Allen led in rebounds with 10.5 per game and point guard Darius Garland led in assists with 6.5 per game. On the defensive end, Mitchell also led in steals with 1.8 per game, while Mobley led in rejections with 1.4.

Meanwhile, the Celtics are coming off of a dominant 64-win season and a first-round gentleman’s sweep over the Miami Heat, with their average margin of victory in that series being 22 points. Leading the team in points per game was forward Jaylen Brown with 22.8, while guard Derrick White followed close behind, averaging 22.4, including a series-high 38 points in Game Four.

During the regular season, the Celtics were led by superstar forward Jayson Tatum, who led the team in scoring at 26.9 points per game, and rebounds at 8.1 per game. Derrick White led in assists with 5.2 per game.

On defense, Jaylen Brown led the team in steals with 1.2 per game and center giant Kristaps Porzingis led in blocks with 1.9 per game.

On the year, the Cavaliers lost two out of three games to the Celtics. Games One and Two of the regular season series took place in Boston in mid-December, with Cleveland losing by seven points and nine points respectively. Game Three then took place in Cleveland in March, in which the Cavaliers pulled off a riveting comeback victory, led by 20 fourth-quarter points from power forward Dean Wade. The win snapped an 11-game Boston win streak and came without the help of Donovan Mitchell and small forward Max Strus.

The game will tip off on Tuesday at 7 pm at the TD Garden in Boston, with the Celtics given a 69.2% chance of victory, according to ESPN analytics. As of May 6th, center Jarrett Allen, point guard Craig Porter Jr, power forward Dean Wade and point guard Ty Jerome are all game-time decisions, while Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis is listed as out. Assuming Porzingis’ return date stays at May 19th and Allen makes his return early in the series, backup center for Boston Al Horford will surely have his hands full, helping to pave the way for a potential Wine and Gold upset in the series.

Do I think the Cavs have a chance?

Yes.

We have a top three shooting guard in the entire NBA (Mitchell, Devin Booker and Anthony Edwards are interchangeable), as well as two top-10 defenders. However, it is going to take a lot. Boston runs with an eight-man rotation that is as lethal as any rotation we have seen in the past five years. Their entire starting lineup consists of guys that would be the best shooters and or defenders on almost any other team in the league. If the Cavs want to have a chance, it is going to take an all-around effort from every guy on the floor.

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