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Celtics embracing underdog role against LeBron, Cavaliers

Celtics embracing underdog role against LeBron, Cavaliers

Boston was coming off a defeat in game four, but managed to impose their will on the 76ers down the stretch in Wednesday's thriller, improving to 7-0 on their home court in these play-offs. He's also watched every Cleveland Cavaliers game since the playoffs started almost a month ago. In the first round, Celtics fans taunted Milwaukee guard Eric Bledsoe with chants of "Who Is Bledsoe?" after he unwisely made a comment about Celtics playoff phenom Terry Rozier. Many believed the Celtics would be eliminated prior to the Eastern Conference Finals. Why not? Anyone who's followed coach Brad Stevens and company this season knows to never count them out.

And the Celtics showed that same resilient character again after left knee surgery ended All-Star and leading scorer Kyrie Irving's season. "That why they have a chance".

LeBron James has broken the Toronto Raptors. Sweeping the No.1 team in the East is no easy task. "I'm sure he'll speak to all of our players individually - we've all played against Cleveland now a bunch, in the postseason, too - the last couple of years". And that's what has happened.

Durant may be the best all-around player in the series. Both teams have raised their level of play and been through it, but are here now and have to lay it all on the line.

There a lot of basketball pundits out there predicting the conference finals will end with Cleveland winning the series in six games.

One thing that impressed Nelson, from the Celtics angle the last month, was their decision to take away the top options for the Bucks and Sixers.

A lot of people are saying, 'How can they succeed like this without Gordon Hayward?' I've heard that.

"The Celtics did a great job of corralling The Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and Ben Simmons".

Not that there's much intrigue between these two teams, but the Celtics do have the ideal intelligence officer for all things Cleveland in Kyrie Irving. Against a guy like LeBron it's the team. He tries lineups, rotations and coverages that may or may not work, and he withholds others for the postseason because he knows they will work. Unfortunately, Toronto got swept, but like I said in the beginning, it looked very easy. "The Sixers tried to do it, but weren't able to slow the Celtics offense consistently, especially in Boston. You can't blame young guys who want to go out to the highest bidder and thinks he should be a starter and he's not going to be one in Boston for many years to come".

"What excites me the most is probably that this is what we dreamed of", he said Saturday. "He's the best player in the game". He and the Cavs swept IN 4-0 IN last year's playoffs which led to George leaving the team, and kicked off this postseason with a tough, 4-3 win over the rebuilt IN team, which was mostly a showing of how James can win series without any help from his teammates. James is the better athlete, although it's hard to argue that he's a greater competitor than Jordan, making this debate both fun and absolutely mind-numbing all at the same time. The five others who have done so all played with the Celtics, led by Hall of Famer Bill Russell's run of 10 straight appearances.

"Jayson Tatum has been unbelievable for such a young player", said Nelson.

Just the history, you look up in the rafters, and you see all the greats that's either played there or the previous arena they played in.

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