As James fielded questions from reporters Tuesday, he wore a t-shirt bearing the leprechaun mascot of his high school Alma Mater, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary. Don't count on it though, or be fooled into thinking the Celtics are the better team based on finishing with a slightly better regular season record than a Cavs team that clearly took their foot off the gas to rest up for their postseason run.
"At the end of the day, the Celtics are our next opponent and they're a worthy opponent", James said.
"We're not focused on the outside noise and what they think we're going to do", said Thomas. "The rhythm is something you kind of like see if we still have it", James said, brushing off suggestions that playing in Boston would help sharpen Cleveland's mental approach. Cleveland also has swept its first two playoff opponents this year as it enters the Eastern Conference finals with Boston, marking the first time a team has stated out 8-0 in two straight postseasons. LeBron James has as much personal success as any active player in the league, and he and his teammates will face off with the team with the most historical success in the league. After losing 107-101 at home to Philadelphia in the first game of the NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the 76ers four straight times to clinch the title.
On the way to the locker room following that Game 6 loss, he yanked off his Cavs jersey for what many thought was the last time. Cleveland had few issues sweeping both the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors while the Celtics had to fight through a tough seven-game series against the Washington Wizards that ended on Monday night.
The Celtics know that they must win Game 1. The Celtics can win this series, and here are five reasons why. "We got the No1 seed, they didn't give us a chance", Thomas said after scoring 29 points and dishing 12 assists to eliminate the Wizards.
Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo hattrick helps Real Madrid beat Atletico 30
The second half started equally slow, and Real Madrid didn't take a shot until Ronaldo doubled their lead in the 73rd minute. Zidane, though, warned against any complacency. "We must remain cool and look to win in the second leg too".
Cleveland on the other hand, has won all eight playoff games thus far, including the last four by an average of 15 points.
The Wizards led the Celtics 55-53 at the half, but in each of the last two quarters, Chenier notes, the Celtics scored 30-or-more points while the Wizards faded away. Thomas and Irving are both liabilities in the defensive side of the game, and that has caused problems for Boston more than Cleveland. "It's unbelievable, the level of focus and intensity he puts into his daily habits is something that I don't people understand how hard it is to do". It's these names that draw the crowds through an otherwise meaningless 5-month regular season. Until then, the Celtics were pretty unstable. "We're lucky to move on", Olynyk said. "And next season, it'll be totally different", Beal said. They have the postseason's top offensive rating and had a higher one than any other team did against Boston this season. A $100 bet on the Cavaliers to win the series would now win $14.29. FILE - In this December 29, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, left, drives to the basket against Boston Celtics' Al Horford, from the Dominican Republic, in the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Clevel.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) reacts with his team after a play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at TD Garden.
The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference final after downing Washington in Game 7 of their semi-final series on Monday. His performance throughout this series may very well dictate Boston's chances at advancing to the NBA Finals.