Cleveland Cavaliers 4 - 0 Boston Celtics | 2015 NBA Playoffs
The Cavs prevailed over the Celtics as they closed out their first round matchup with a four game sweep. Although, the immediate perspective of the Cavs being able to take the series in four does not show how tough of a first round matchup for a number two seed it was. All games were decided within 13 points and the Cavs trailed at halftime in the first two games. However, the matchup with the Celtics was the best thing that could have happened for the Cavs because they were able to get their feet wet and experience solid playoff basketball while not having to face a top seed. They received a good opportunity to test their defense on the perimeter with a breakout series from Isaiah Thomas, who averaged 17.5 points and 7 assists for the series. The Cavs took care of business at home with two solid wins of 113-100 and 99-91 in games one and two, respectively. Then, they were able to overcome a loud Boston crowd with wins of 103-95 in game three and 101-93 in game four. The Cavs weren’t able to get through the series without some setbacks, as Kevin Love injured his left shoulder and the grittiness of the series was exhibited when J.R. Smith and Jae Crowder got tangled up in the third. Smith suffered a two game suspension as a result. The team looks to take what they learned and use it to their advantage as they move on to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
LeBron delivers key block on Evan Turner
Individually, LeBron had a great showing against the Celtics as he averaged nearly a double-double with 27 points and 9 rebounds to go along with 6.5 assists per game. He was very efficient from the floor, as well, with a 46.7 shooting percentage. LeBron continued his rampage on franchise and league records that he has been on for the entirety of the season. In game one alone, James (1,026) passed Michael Jordan (1,022) for ninth place in career postseason assists and broke the franchise record for postseason games played with his 72nd with the Cavs. Then in the second contest he passed Jerry West’s 4,457 points on the all-time scoring list. Karl Malone is next with 4,761 points. Michael Jordan currently claims the top spot with 5,987 points. Even though he made it look easy, LeBron acknowledged just how tough of a first round opponent Boston really was.
LeBron’s series high of 31 points seals game 3
In his “UNINTERRUPTED” video after the conclusion of game four he said, “Very physical first round opponent, very well coached, mentally prepared, young guys are mentally sharp and that’s a great first test for us, great first test.” LeBron’s outpouring of offensive numbers may be a bit harder to come by in the next series as the Cavs’ potential matchups are the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls who are 2nd and 11thin defensive efficiency, respectively. In addition, Chicago’s all-star starting shooting guard, Jimmy Butler, is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.