Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia Sixers surpassed all expectations in 2017-18, and the big fella is already raising the bar even higher for next season. They have no interest in using adversity as a crutch. Once the team's shooters found their legs, they helped wreck havoc on the Toronto Raptors.
According to OddsShark, the Cavs are heavy favorites at -290 to advance to the NBA Finals, while the Celtics are listed at +245, meaning a $100 bet on Boston to win the Eastern Conference Finals would result in a $245 return. When he's standing in attention for the national anthem at TD Garden Arena, he'll look up and see the retired jersey numbers of Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, and Frank Ramsey.All of them Celtics, they are the only players in NBA history with more consecutive Finals appearances than James' current streak of seven (which makes this his eighth conference finals in a row).If James and the Cavs dispose of the Celtics in this series, James will tie Ramsey.
The Boston Celtics are the second-seeded team in the Eastern Conference and possess home-court advantage for the best-of-seven conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The C's will host the Cavs in Game 1 Sunday at 3:30 p.m. "No matter who has played for them, he can put guys in position to succeed and get the most out of whoever has been in their lineup over the past few years". Projected to be a key reserve in the team's new rotation featuring All-Stars' Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the then 19-year old Tatum was thrust into a greater role when Hayward went down with a season-ending injury. So should Kyrie Irving following his knee surgery. Cleveland slogged along in a malaise for most of the year, falling to just eight games above.500 on February 6.
The despite the disappointment of their playoff exit, the young 76ers were sounding a note of optimism after an overachieving season that included 52 regular-season wins and their first playoff series victory since 2012. "I'm pretty sure I think he's going on this trip". "But I've seen the way that these guys prepare, I've seen the way that they train and they want to be great and they understand that it's bigger than them. It's going to take a full team effort, that's what we plan on doing".
The Celtics doubters have been stubborn.
Rafael Nadal looks to seal Madrid Open last-eight spot
American John Isner also advanced to the quarter-finals after overcoming Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in a tight match, 7-6 7-6 7-6. Halep lost to Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3, ending her bid to become a three-time consecutive champion in Madrid .
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the playoffs that he loves seeing "narratives busted". Where LeBron James is still playing like LeBron James, the Celtics have found heroics from unexpected places throughout these playoffs, specifically rookie Jayson Tatum.
The disrespect has been everywhere, and the Celtics have feasted on it. "Coming here from Miami (Philadelphia's first-round opponent) was completely different". At this point, I'd rather go down with the ship and ask for mercy from Boston later. "But they did a great job the whole night".
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) during the second half at Staples Center. Boston's Terry Rozier made two free throws with 9.8 seconds on the clock to make it 113-109, but a JJ Redick 3-pointer with 3.8 ticks left had the 76ers back within a point. James is now playing in another stratosphere than any other player in the playoffs.
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.
Throw in notorious Celtics killer Kevin Love and this figures to be a challenging task for Boston. This time around, the Raptors were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and had the claim of being one of the best overall teams the franchise has ever fielded. As the best player in the National Basketball Association, he will have his pick of almost every team in the league pending cap space.