Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Dustin Murphy

Back to Boston: LeBron, Celtics meet again in postseason

Back to Boston: LeBron, Celtics meet again in postseason

As he and his teammates get set to face the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night, James made a decision to do a little trolling ahead of time. Entering Game 6, the Celtics had the Wizards just where they wanted them, facing elimination as Boston lead the series 3-2. Just how can the Boston Celtics - coming off a tough, draining seven-game series against the Washington Wizards - pull off an epic upset for the ages? Wall had carried the Wizards team on his back most of this series, especially in Game 2 where he scored 40 points.

As the roars at TD Garden slowly dissolved and the euphoria wore off following Boston's 115-105 win over the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of the second round on Monday, reality hit.

You have to hand it Stevens, who has that magic touch with decent players like Kelly Olynyk (26 points Monday), who looks like a star on some nights because the coach knows how to teach and run a complex offense that gets so many guys wide open shots. "I think as long as we keep the competitive nature in the gym, we'll be fine".

"It helps a little bit, but at the same time, we're so focused on what's going on in this group of guys we have", Thomas said of motivation that comes with the doubt thrown their way. "And we came out on top".

The Cavaliers haven't faced an opponent since May 7 when they completed a four-game sweep of the Raptors. He can kill you from 3-point land, or drive the lane and somehow score among the giants. "It's the postseason and we wouldn't want it any other way". Oklahoma City went on to lose in five games to Miami in the NBA Finals.

No team in the East gets James' attention more quickly than the Celtics, who survived a seven-game series against Washington to make their first conference final since 2012. Even though the Cavaliers finished with the lower seed heading into the playoffs, Boston has dealt with a much more hard path to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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"I don't regret anything because I felt like, yeah, they beat me the last couple years when I was in Atlanta, but with our teams we felt like we gave them all we had and we just couldn't get over the hump", Horford said.

For Thomas it serves as the ultimate validation for a team that many felt was unworthy of the conference's top seed. The 28-year-old All-Star has called the basketball court his sanctuary, and he continues to credit his teammates for giving him the strength to perform at a high level. Brad Stevens better be rewriting his game plans today. "So we're going to have to play really well".

To listen to the interview, in which Simmons also discusses more on the National Basketball Association as well as David Ortiz, click on the audio player above. All games ended with hosts winning.

"I love the way Otto Porter bounced back after that Game 6", he added. The Celtics hope that the energy that Olynyk brought in the last series carries over to the next one. After losing 107-101 at home to Philadelphia in the first game of the NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the 76ers four straight times to clinch the title.

Boston also have home-court advantage thanks to Cleveland's "strategic" resting down the stretch.

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