Marcus Smart (May 9, 2018 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
Marcus Smart (May 9, 2018 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America) Marcus Smart (May 9, 2018 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
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NBA Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

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BOSTON- The TD Garden is going to be home to one big time fiesta atmosphere as the Boston Celtics face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The Celtics are without a doubt the most resilient team in the playoffs as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers without stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Marcus Smart and Al Horford are leading the Celtics high-powered offense.

Now, the Celtics face the Cavs in what could be a short series. The Cavs obliterated the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Toronto Raptors in a four game sweep.  LeBron James appears to have chemistry with the relative newcomers George Hill, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson. Kevin Love resurged in the final two games against the Raptors and is effectively silencing the critics that questioned his status as a star player. Love changed his offensive style to mirror exactly what he did in Minnesota. The Cavs are playing like a well oiled machine right now.


Will Boston continue to win despite the against the odds without Irving and Hayward? The injuries haven’t caught up to the Celtics yet but the Cavs played top-notch basketball offensively and defensively against Toronto.

The Celtics deserve a lot of credit for making it this far. They edged the Milwaukee and easily eliminated the 76ers. The Celtics are the epitome of strong will and resilience.  Horford and Smart are doing a remarkable job of holding down the fort for Irving and Hayward. This series would be more a whole lot more exciting if both of them were able to play. The Cavs and Celtics would be on even ground for sure if Irving and Hayward were available.

Boston averaged 106.4 points per game against Philadelphia. Will Cleveland’s defense continue to close out on open shooters?

Prediction

The Celtics won’t be a match for the Cavs in this series. One or two of the Cavs wins may be close but this series will get out of hand. The Celtics should be able to avoid a sweep however.

The Cavaliers will win the Eastern Conference Finals in five games.

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