Cleveland Cavaliers – Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Series: Odds, Predictions and Fearless Forecast

By Jeff Harris, Posted: 05/18/17 03:29AM EDT
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LeBron James vs Jae Crowder
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers tries to go past Jae Crowder of the Boston Celtics.(Photo : NBA Conference/YouTube Screenshot)

Will it be a walk in the park for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers? Or will Boston Celtics finally break the tradition and become the new Eastern Conference representatives in the NBA Finals?

This is the hottest question these days after Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals by beating John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Let's find out what basketball analysts think of the series between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.

As posted by ESPN, the Cavaliers are hands-on favorite to win the series against the Celtics. ESPN Forecast has the Cavaliers to win the series by 70 percent; Basketball Power Index also points to the Cavaliers by 55 percent, and Fan Poll gave LeBron and the rest of Cleveland by a staggering 75 percent. However, FiveThirtyEight disagrees and placed the Celtics ahead of the Cavaliers by 52 percent.

Hungrier Celtics

For Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who had led Boston to the NBA Playoffs for the past two years, it's a "special opportunity to get a chance to compete" against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Remember, Steven's first Playoffs experience was a bad experience at the expense of the reigning NBA champion, 0-4, back at the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

But this time is different for the Celtics as they're riding on a high note after conquering the Wizards in Game 7 of their semi-final duel. Plus, it's their home court - an advantage the Celtics must definitely explore.

The Cavaliers meanwhile will be coming from a long 11-day rest after cleaning up Toronto Raptors last May 7. Rust or rest, which case will prove to be true?

Boston Celtics vs. LeBron James

The most concerning factor for Coach Stevens is the fact that LeBron James has leveled up his game at this point of the season. The Cavaliers went 3-1 against the Celtics during the regular season, with the first three games decided only during the final minutes of the game. However, during their last tussle, LeBron led the onslaught right at the Celtics' own turf last April 5, 114-91.

During those four games, LeBron averaged 29.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists. Well, it's already the NBA Playoffs and during the Cavaliers' eight victories, he averaged 34.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

Fearless Forecast

The last time they met in the Playoffs, the Cavaliers swept the Celtics. It was Isaias' first year in Boston. Now they have Al Horford and a much formidable team. For the Cavaliers, the core is intact, yet still they added firepower in Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

Surely, the odds are in favor of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers so expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to defend their crown in the NBA Finals. But don't count Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics just yet as they might come with a surprise.

Remember, the Celtics have enough manpower to keep up with the rest of the Cavaliers. The only thing they need to do now is to stop LeBron. But how, how can they stop King James when he's on fire? This series is turning out to be very, very interesting once more.



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