The 2018 Eastern Conference Finals is already set in motion. The Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers.
It is as simple as that. Kyrie Irving makes the Boston Celtics better and will lead this team to the Conference Finals in his first year in Boston. The All-Star point guard last year, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaged 25 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds, but this season he wants to let the world know that he can be the ‘focal point’ and the leader somewhere else; and shine away from LeBron James' shadow. As he is now entering his prime at 25 years of age, Kyrie is a ‘deadly’ offensive player. He can do pretty much everything on the offensive side of the court, has one of the best handles in the league, can finish at the rim with either hand, knockdown fadeaway jumpers, mid-range jumpers and also deep three-pointers. Irving has to work on facilitating the offense and setting up his teammates, taking it day by day and listening to Coach Stevens and his staff.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, with LeBron James as their leader, will always find a way to the Conference Finals and then the NBA Finals. But this year it will be different and much more challenging as they will take on a very young but really talented Boston team. Las Vegas has the Celtics favorites to win the Conference in the regular season, while the Cleveland Cavaliers will probably finish at the second seed. Isaiah Thomas’ injury will come into play, LeBron’s rest and how well the group will function the second half of the season will also play an important role in the team’s success this regular season.
The Boston Celtics with Irving as their point guard, Gordon Hayward as their small forward, and Al Horford at Center will have a ‘big 3’ that could take them places. Jayson Tatum (No. 3 overall pick) and Jaylen Brown will also play a huge role in how well the team will play out this regular season. Coach Brad Stevens has shown us on multiple occasions that he is an exceptional young coach, and with these young but talented group of guys he can make a lot of noise in the East and challenge LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Opening night will give us a really interesting matchup to watch, with Kyrie and LeBron going head to head after this long and dramatic summer. During the season, it will be interesting to watch how Brad Stevens will use Kyrie on defense, with the absence of Avery Bradley (traded to the Pistons), and also which player will take the tough assignment of guarding LeBron James (Crowder traded to Cavs) in the Conference Finals. Moreover, it will be intriguing and fascinating to watch how different the Celtics' style of play will be this season, with Irving as their prime ball handler.
Coach Lue and LeBron, on the other hand, will have to find a way to get the best out of Derrick Rose. LeBron will surely get the best out of him, but the problem will be whether it's actually enough.
If Isaiah Thomas is injured for the first half of the season, the Cavs will most likely lose the No.1 seed and home court advantage in the Conference Finals. This happened last year too but caused little trouble for Bron and the Cavs. Coming April, Boston will be No.1 and the Cavs No.2. The Eastern Conference Finals will feature a great matchup between the Cavaliers and the Celtics, Irving and James, Tatum and Crowder etc. The only legit threat to the East besides this two teams are the Wizards and the Raptors who will eventually be eliminated by the Cavaliers and the Celtics.
The Eastern Conference Finals will feature a great matchup between the Cavaliers and the Celtics, Irving and James, Tatum and Crowder. The only legit threat to the East besides these two teams are the Wizards and the Raptors, who will most likely pose little threat to the Cavs and Celtics. The inevitable matchup that everyone will be waiting for will come in May LeBron vs. Kyrie in an ultimate battle for the East.
The 2017 regular season starts October 17th, with this epic matchup serving as a preview in the very first game of the year. While the October game is great for bragging rights, who will be the ones to advance to the NBA Finals this June? Will it be the Celtics, the Cavaliers, or someone else?