Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game Preview: The Road To The NBA Finals Begins

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(Cleveland, OH) – The Cleveland Cavaliers (53-29) begin their road to a championship Sunday against the Boston Celtics (40-42) in the first playoff game in Cleveland in four years.

The season series between the two teams is 2-2, and while the regular season record implies equality, few expect this series to last more than five games.

Despite the overwhelming vote of confidence from outside the team, Cavaliers head coach David Blatt is not overlooking his team’s first test.

“I think Boston has had a great season,” Blatt told reporters after practice Saturday. “They’re athletic, they’re ambitious, they play really hard, and they play right. There’s more than enough things to be concerned about.”

LeBron James echoed his coach’s focus and made it clear he is not looking past the Celtics.

“They have a lot of guys who can dribble, penetrate and make plays,” James said Saturday. “With Avery, with Evan, Isaiah, (and) Marcus Smart, they have a lot of guys who can create offense, not only for themselves but for others. So we need to be locked in on those guys.”

In terms of matchups, the Cavs are in a great position to put an end to the series early.

Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart will likely make life difficult for Kyrie Irving, but the Celtics simply do not have anyone who can adequately cover James or Kevin Love over multiple games.

James will be seeing a rotation of Evan Turner, Jae Crowder, and possibly the ghost of Gerald Wallace. Meanwhile, Love will likely matchup against Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller, and Jared Sullinger.

Now you see the Celtics’ problem.

While Celtics Coach Brad Stevens has his team playing above expectations, they simply don’t have the firepower to match up with the Cavaliers over the course of a series.

It should prove to be a very entertaining series, however, seeing as how both teams prefer to play an up-tempo brand of basketball. That’s a far cry from the overtime slugfest between the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors that featured the Raptors’ latest attempt to disappoint their fan base.

It promises be an exciting start to a potentially historic run for the Cavs.

See you on game day.

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Adam is a recent graduate from San Diego State University. He currently works for SDSU in corporate sponsorship for the Athletics Department. He's happy to be a staff writer for Cavaliers Nation, and you can follow him at @AMH08.