Last night the Boston Celtics hosted the best team in the Eastern conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was a big game for the because the goal that the Celtics have for themselves is building a team that is capable of defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers. Obviously this win does not mean that the Celtics will be able to beat Cleveland in a 7-game series in the playoffs but it is a stepping stone in the right direction.
The Celtics defeated the Cavs 103-99, and this game stayed closer all the way up to the final buzzer. As the time started to wind down in the 4th quarter many fans had that feeling that anytime now the Cavs and LeBron were just going to begin to runaway with it and seal the victory. However, it seemed like for every big shot that the Cavs hit the Celtics would quickly respond with a big shot of their own. No shot was bigger than Isaiah Thomas’ deep three with 50 seconds to go to put he Celtics up 99-97. This shot had many fans including myself yelling at the TV that he was too deep and that it was a bad shot, but then going absolutely crazy when it went in.
Isaiah Thomas had 31 points and 5 assists as he lead the Celtics past the Cavaliers. Another player that had a big game for the Boston Celtics was center Al Horford. Horford was one point shy of a triple double: 9 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists. Horford seemed to do all the little things right in this game, especially racking up 10 assists. To see a big man with that many assists is pretty amazing. It’s good to see how good of a playmaker Horford can be as big man on this team.
Another player that fans should be excited to see back is shooting guard Avery Bradley. Now Bradley only scored 11 points with 2 rebounds, but that’s not where he shines. Avery Bradley shines on the defensive end of floor, and Celtics fans have definitely missed him. With about 28 seconds left on the clock Cavalier guard Kyrie Irving dribbled down the court looking to tie up the game, and Celtics fans expected nothing less than to see Avery Bradley guarding him. Bradley did a great job on defense and forced Irving to miss the shot as the Celtics went on to win the game. Having Avery Bradley back should have Celtics fans excited moving forward.
Now looking towards the playoffs, Cleveland is definitely still the favorites despite this loss but we could possibly see this Celtics Cavs matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals. This would be a very interesting experience for the Celtics, and even if they do lose to the Cavs this would have been a successful season. This would have been a successful season because if the Celtics are that close to being contenders and are able to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, they should be able to go out in free agency and add that player or players that can put them over the top and beat Cleveland.
The Celtics will see the Cavaliers one more time before the end of the regular season. That will be on Wednesday April 5th. We will see if the Celtics will be able to get the job done again the next time these two teams meet.