Cavaliers Take on Celtics in NBA Eastern Conference Finals

LeBron James wears his St. Vincent / St. Mary Fighting Irish high school logo in preparing for the Celtics.
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LeBron James has played in the last 6 NBA Finals –With Cleveland or Miami - and he hopes to make it 7 in a row this year.   His Cleveland Cavaliers will have to get past the Boston Celtics to get there.   Game One is Tomorrow (Wed) evening.


As the final seconds were ticking off in Boston’s semifinal win over Washington Monday, Celtics fans started chanting “we want Cleveland.”    LeBron James teams have been keeping them out of the Finals for years but he respects their winning tradition.

“The two winningest franchises are the Lakers and the Celtics, if you know the history of the game.  So you respect that.   And you look up in the stands and see the banners and the jerseys retired and things of that nature you respect what the history has created to this point.”

Coach Tyronn Lue says his team usually needs a few minutes at the start of a game to shake off the rust.   But playing in Boston will make that difficult. 

“It’s different because we’re starting on the road now. And we’ve been having these layoffs; we’ve been having our home court and our fans have gotten us through that.   So Now it’s going to be a little different, to have to adjust and play on the road and carry our own weight.   Our fans aren’t going to be behind us to start the game. We’ll have to bring our own energy, which I think we will.  I think we’ll be fine.”  

Everyone likes rest but James says he feels worse when he’s not playing.

“We’ve been putting in work both mentally and physically.    As far as our mental side I’m not worried about that.  It’s always the rhythm.  We’ve been off – it’ll be 10 days -  since we played a game.  The rhythm is something that you like, see if we still have it.  But as far as the mental side, mentally we’re focused.”  

The Cavs won easily the last time they played in Boston in early April but James says both the Celtics and the Cavs are “totally different” teams now in the playoffs.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue says the Boston fans are great.  He was an assistant coach in Boston the last time they went to the Finals in 2010.  They beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers to get there.

Coach Lue has been preparing for since January.   He usually tries to get Kevin Love involved in scoring but now says he may just get the ball to hottest player in the playoffs.

“We’ll do a better job of getting Kevin involved and get him more touches but LeBron is playing at such a high level that it was hard to go away from that. So we’re just all about winning.  In order to win you’ve got to sacrifice and our coaching staff, our players, we all understand you got to sacrifice and it’s all about winning.”

The last team in the Eastern Conference playoffs to beat a LeBron James team was Boston, seven years ago.   And Tyronn Lue was their assistant coach

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