Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, let’s talk why.
LeBron James is the best player in the world. Period. James gets the Michael Jordan treatment and is constantly overlooked for the MVP award every year. He’s OBVIOUSLY the most important player on any team that he’s on. Boston has nobody that can stop LeBron James. Slow him down to 22 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, maybe. But James’ influence on the court is much more than a stat line. It’s about the attention he demands. The resources he takes from a team opens up for big nights for the other stars on his team.
LeBron James system > Brad Stephens system
When talking about the Celtics and their success, Brad Stephens and his system comes up. “It’s all about the system!” people say. Stephens is a great coach. He’s earned the top spot in the east last year for a reason. He wins games. But LeBron James has a system too. LeBron James rests and doesn’t over-exhaust himself during the season so he can play like he’s a member of Space Jam’s “MonStars” in the playoffs. There’s a reason James has been to the Finals seven straight years. It’s a long season and he paces himself. There’s a reason James Harden crashed against the Spurs in game seven last year. He killed himself all season. Stephens is a fantastic coach. LeBron is a better coach.
The rest of the talent doesn’t line up…
The Celtics have great players! Kyrie Irving is top 5 in the league for sure. But who else is there? Even with Hayward not there, the talent level isn’t there for the Celtics to beat Cleveland in a seven-game series. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Jae Crowder, Tristan Thompson all demand a lot of attention. But the bench is where Cleveland really excels. Here’s a few names: Dwyane Wade (future hall of famer), Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert. While you got your bench guys on the court, Cleveland has a bench team that would finish in 6th in the East. Boston has a bunch of great role players. But they’re also missing one important oversight…
Isaiah Thomas is coming
And he has a massive chip on his shoulder. After giving this team all that he gave them, Boston gave up on him. Putting Isaiah Thomas on the floor with the best player in the world will put Boston in between a rock and a hard place. Who to stop? With the amount of emotion Thomas will have, it’s going to be hard for Irving to slow him down, much less stop him. Thomas coming back also makes Cleveland that much deeper. They’re a nightmare for the East.
Despite Cleveland’s slow start, it’s pretty obvious that Boston really doesn’t stand a chance against Cleveland in seven games. Even if Cleveland loses the one seed again, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, LeBron and the Cleveland MonStars will take the Celtics in five games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Buckle up, guys, Cleveland-Golden State 4 is going to be a ride.