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Heading into the season, the team was expected to challenge the favored Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, creating a must-watch series with Irving and LeBron James facing off one another.

The Eastern Conference Finals kick off in Boston Sunday afternoon, while the Western Conference Finals will Monday night.

Secondly, Stevens, who is in fifth season as the Celtics' coach, did not win the award last year, nor has he ever won the coach of the year award recognized by the National Basketball Association, which is given annually by media covering the league.

Boston and Cleveland swapped Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the offseason, and neither player will be part of the series. "They have so many guys who are good players that we have to be alert not only to that LeBron matchup but everybody else". Kyle Korver is the third double-digit scorer and JR Smith is dishing 1.3 assists.

Here's how the new rosters stack up.

Going up against the Cavaliers, Brad Stevens will try a number of different players on LeBron James. The Cavs won that game and their first-ever title. He was then involved in almost every decisive play in the final minute of his team's Game 5 clincher against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. He almost averaged a triple-double, putting up 24 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 53.7 percent from the field across three games. He was great against Cleveland this season while he was coming off the bench.

This is the eighth time Cleveland and Boston have met in the postseason. Throughout the postseason this year, he nearly has a triple-double average, as he averages 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and nine assists per game. Who had the edge in Game 1? That Celtics team eventually turned into the Brooklyn Nets, and also got beaten up badly by James and the Heat in a short-term attempted which has damaged the franchise for the long term.

"It's definitely not a one-on-one thing", said Brown.

Round one brought Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posted a frightening line of 25.7 points (on laser-precise 57 percent shooting), 9.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. The Cleveland Cavaliers once again ousted the Toronto Raptors from the playoffs.

Rookie versus vet. This one should be fun. His 34.3 scoring average in these playoffs is his highest since the 2009 postseason. Maybe, with his best efforts, he can slow James down.

Rouhani to Merkel: Iran's interests must be guaranteed in nuclear deal
Pointing to the civil war in Syria, Merkel said that numerous global conflicts today were flaring on the doorstep of Europe. Instead, Europe has to take its destiny into its own hands. "That's the task for the future", she stressed.


Tatum is well-versed in challenging catch-and-shoot 3s following a series against Philadelphia.

They are also the first team in National Basketball Association history to make it back to this point without their leading scorer from the regular season (Irving).

Marcus Smart, now the longest-tenured member of the Boston Celtics, also will be a free agent once the 2017-18 season comes to a close. So we are operating under the assumption that Baynes will remain the starter. He is an elite rim protector and is more agile than one would think.

VanVleet was a key piece of Friday's win, returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for all but three minutes of the series' first five games.

James will enter the series opener with almost a week of rest.

Love, meanwhile, has also been a marksman from downtown.

That club is now exclusive to legendary Boston players with legendary status. The Raptors have homecourt advantage for the first time, and have lost just seven games at the Air Canada Centre this season.

Durant may be the best all-around player in the series.

The Celtics aren't going to be able to shake James' confidence. Along the frontline, Green, Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. are all versatile options. Jr. are all quality defenders as well.


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