The Cavaliers came into Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and man handled the Celtics. Cleveland won 117-104. Cleveland jumped out to an early lead, 30-19 at the end of the 1st, and didn’t look back. The Cavs were able to hover around a constant 20-point lead throughout the game.
To simply break down the game, LeBron showed up and the Celtics didn’t. The Celtics were 6 – 17 shooting in the 1st quarter and only 1 – 8 from three in the 1st. Celtics came out slow and sloppy to start the game and missing as many shots as they did, the Celtics really did not give themselves a chance to come back against the talented roster of Cleveland. Another factor that hurt the Celtics was, of course, LeBron James. Every shot he took looked easy, the Celtics could not give any resistance in stopping LeBron from getting to the basket. Whenever he wanted to LeBron could get to the basket with ease. If the Celtics hope to have any chance in this series they are going to need to hold LeBron to jump shots instead of easy drives to the basket.
That being said the Celtics did have one stretch at the end of the 3rd quarter and a little bit in the 4th as well where they played some good basketball and were hitting there shots. If the Celtics can channel these runs and expand them for the course of the game they might just have a chance. But another key factor to the Celtics having a chance is defense. That seems obvious, but if the Celtics can’t slow down at least 2 of Cleveland’s big 3 (LeBron, Kyrie, and Love) then this series is as good as over.
Now to go over my predictions for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. To me these are really easy predictions. At the end of the day I have trouble thinking that the Celtics will even steal a game and if I’m questioning that then there is no chance for the Celtics. I think that Cleveland can take the series in 4 games. With Kawhi Leonard injuring his ankle I really don’t see way for the Spurs. Golden State will take it in either 4 or 5 games. So that means that for the third straight season we are going to see the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.