Gallery of Cavs probable starters in the Eastern Conference Finals: Kevin Love

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LeBron and company need to contain Rozier in addition to Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown throughout the series.

After an intense seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised past the Toronto Raptors in four games on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will face the Boston Celtics. In 2010, Boston lead by its big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen eliminated James and the Cavaliers in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) - There haven't been any championship banners hoisted into Boston's hallowed rafters since 2008.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry are coming his way.

The Celtics have home-court advantage again, but the Cavs are the prohibitive favorites to win the East. Cleveland is a 1.5-point favorite in Game 1, according to OddsShark, and the over/under is 204. James has won four of their six matchups and averages 29.2 points per game.

Marcus Smart made one of two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, and Philadelphia turned it over on the inbounds play to seal it.

And if he beats the Celtics again and advances to his eighth straight NBA Finals, James would join a club now exclusive to Boston players with legendary status.

"I haven't reflected on it", James said Friday when asked if he's looked back on his current Finals run. As the best player in the National Basketball Association, he will have his pick of almost every team in the league pending cap space.

James hit on several of the Celtics' key contributors. I think there's a lot that everybody knows that makes LeBron so great. He increased his scoring average by almost eight points from Round 1, and his field-goal percentage improved significantly as well.

There's a good chance the two rivals might have been playing Game 6 tonight in Philadelphia if the officials hadn't blown a crucial call. And even if it isn't enough to counter the inherent LeBron-ness of the Cavaliers, it's just one more piece of evidence that Boston's youngsters are thriving in the high-leverage learning opportunities they're being given.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James has carried the Cavs on his back at times, averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 11 play-off games for the Cavaliers, who edged in in a seven-game first round before sweeping Eastern conference top seed Toronto in the second round. "But we just gotta be mentally locked in and have the mindset to come in and try to do it the best we can".

Despite the iconic status of Michael Jordan, there's a case to be made for LeBron as the GOAT, the Greatest of All-Time. He's going to do what he does. "We know that it'll be quite a challenge".

Boston's notorious crowd is known for rattling opposing players.

"We weren't gonna lay down for nobody, no matter who was counting us out". What was most surprising was the fact that LeBron James got some help from his teammates throughout the series.

Appearing on Adrian Wojnarowski's podcast this week, Windhorst said that the Cavaliers could still be one of the strongest contenders for James. McConnell was able to get some dribble penetration, can launch a mid-range jumper off the bounce with some confidence, and was the only credible player that could guard Terry Roizer.

"They're well-coached", Lue said.

The Celtics identified Marcus Morris as a valuable addition to the team when they swapped Avery Bradley for him from the Pistons, in part because of his shooting ability for his position.

"We can't let those other guys be special", Rozier said.

Boston's roar only seems to strengthen James, who appreciates the passion and pride in the Celtics.

"It's very hard. I feel like these playoffs have been great for our group, because the first round was tough with Giannis, a guy that attacks and you always have to be aware of him, and then (Joel) Embiid and Simmons, and now LeBron", Al Horford said after practice yesterday. Feel free to check out our online sportsbook review to get a closer look at what they offer. It's just a sports town. "You're just focused on what's next".

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