This season has been a roller coaster ride for the Cleveland Cavaliers to say the least. After appearing old and sluggish during the first part of the season, the Cavaliers knew changes needed to be made. They ended up making a huge, blockbuster deal which made them a much younger, more athletic team.
With all the chaos, the one steady force for the Cavaliers has been LeBron James. James has been spectacular again thus far in these playoffs. Despite not getting consistent help from his teammates, the Cavaliers prevailed and beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7. They will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.
Post-Series Analysis: Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Boston Celtics in Seven Games
Celtics’ Improbable Run
Perhaps a team that had the same amount of trials and tribulations as the Cavaliers were the Celtics. After Danny Ainge was able to land Gordon Hayward in free agency and trade for Kyrie Irving, the expectations were significantly amplified for the Celtics.
Then in the first quarter of the season opener against the Cavaliers, Hayward had a terrible ankle injury which left the arena in silence. Many believed this would hurt the Celtics mentally, but they rallied and had a fantastic season.
The Celtics ended up finishing with 55 wins and the second best record int he Eastern Conference. This was impressive considering that their other superstar, Irving, was also sidelined with a knee injury. While many believed they would crumble in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics proceeded to take down the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
This run eventually came to a screeching halt when they lost Game 7 against LeBron and company. Despite the loss, the Celtics showed that they will be a problem in the Eastern Conference for years to come. They have a fantastic young core and a sensational young coach in Brad Stevens. Not to mention, Irving and Hayward will also be part of the equation next time around.
LeBron James Delivers
We have maybe never seen a superstar have to carry this kind of load this late into his career as James has thus far in these playoffs. With his back against the wall once again, he was able to deliver the goods and come up huge for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7. He finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists while playing all 48 minutes of the game.
To add salt to the wound, Kevin Love was ruled out for Game 7, which meant other players had to step up or else they would get blown off the floor. LeBron was LeBron once again but he did receive major contributions from Jeff Green, J.R. Smith, and Tristan Thompson.
In a sloppy, ugly, defensive game, the Cavaliers were able to make a couple more plays down the stretch in order to seal the game and secure their spot in the NBA Finals once again.
The Cavaliers were able to survive on the road and win the Eastern Conference once again. They will take on either the Houston Rockets or the Golden State Warriors depending on who wins on Monday night.
Either way, the Cavaliers will certainly be the underdogs. To add to that, they will obviously not have home court and will have to go in and battle.
It will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers can somehow be competitive in the finals. If they want to be competitive, the role players must step up and try to contribute in any way. One man cannot beat a superior team by himself and we will have to see how these finals play out.
CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 07: Kevin Love #0 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high five against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)