Report: Cavs could get major boost during series vs. Celtics

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing an uphill battle in their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, but they may have help on the way in the form of Dean Wade.

The forward, who hasn’t played since early March, reportedly could return at some point during Cleveland’s series against Boston.

“Already ruled out for Tuesday’s Game 1 at famed TD Garden, sources tell there’s hope that, barring any kind of setback, Wade can return at some point during the best-of-seven series, perhaps even this weekend when the Eastern Conference semifinals shift to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4,” wrote’s Chris Fedor.

“Sources say Wade is doing everything possible to make it back. He conducted an individual on-court workout Monday before the team left for Boston and he followed that up with some light shooting and conditioning at Tuesday’s morning shootaround. During the open portion available to media, Wade was hoisted some shots with the team and then ran from sideline to sideline while being timed by a member of the team’s training staff — all positive steps in this lengthy recovery process.”

Wade is clearly anxious to return to action, and the Cavs are going to need all the help they can get if they want to pull off a series upset over the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.

Cleveland had to empty the tank in order to get past the Orlando Magic in the first round, with that series lasting seven games before the Cavs took care of business with their season on the line. They had to do so without players like Wade and Jarrett Allen, who was sidelined for the final three games of the series. Allen’s status is questionable heading into the second round.

When Wade was available during the regular season, he was a solid 3-and-D threat for the Cavs. At one point during the regular season, he led the NBA in defensive rating, and he made 39.1 percent of his 3-point shots in his 54 appearances.

Overall, he averaged 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest during the regular season, getting 32 starts along the way.

The Cavs and Celtics will get their series underway on Tuesday before meeting again on Thursday for Game 2. Cleveland is likely hoping to take at least one of the first two games on the road in order to swing home-court advantage in its favor.

Cavs star Donovan Mitchell will look to continue his strong play when the series begins after he scored 117 points over the final three games of the Orlando series. He’s hoping to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career, and the only thing standing in the way of that goal right now is a team that went 64-18 in the regular season.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.