The second era of LeBron James in Cleveland was brought forth in order to win a championship, and quickly. The road to that title begins now, with game 1 in the first round of the 2015 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics.
While the Cavaliers are favored to come out of the East despite being the number two overall seed, the Celtics weren’t even supposed to be here. On the fast track of the rebuild tank, a group under young head coach Brad Stevens managed to put together a solid enough finish that included two wins over the Cavaliers in order to make the playoffs after just one year of hiatus from it.
But those two wins in the last month weren’t exactly earth shattering. The Cavaliers seemed to do what they can in order to make sure the Indiana Pacers don’t make it into the postseason, hiding that intention with that interesting word, “rest”. Whatever their intentions were, they prefer playing the Celtics than the Pacers, left out of the postseason entirely.
While James is as experienced as they come in the postseason which includes five trips to the NBA finals, two of his co-stars have never played in the playoffs, like a lot of names and faces on the Celtics. Kyrie Irving who did a very good job of changing and adjusting his role as the Cavaliers turned from a group of players into an actual team this season, and Kevin Love, who had to change his style of play more than anyone else. This is what he left the Minnesota Timberwolves for. To play in the postseason, and hopefully to challenge for titles.
So what can the Celtics do? First of all, their special weapon off the bench, Isaiah Thomas, despite his size, has been difficult to handle for everyone. Traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Celtics, he provided the spark, scoring and creativity in order to give them the final, necessary push. It’s hard to see the Celtics coming up with any other edge in a series that right now looks like very one-sided like.
Only one team won on the road during the first day of the postseason, and it wasn’t exactly a surprise. It’d be far more shocking to see the Celtics somehow steal game 1 right out of the Cavaliers’ fingers. However, unless both James and Irving suffer from terrible shooting days at once, it’s going to be almost impossible to steal home court advantage.