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3 lessons Boston Celtics can learn from Pacers to dethrone LeBron James

14 May 2018

The Celtics' Jaylen Brown believes that as much as his team's play will have a positive impact on the series, he also believes the Boston proven track record of handling basketball adversity will bode well for them. The Celtics are better equipped to try and slow down James than the Raptors, but you can not expect anyone to actually be capable of doing it.

The Eastern Conference Finals open on Sunday at TD Garden, and all eyes will be on James, but discerning ones should be on Love. Nothing is too big for the Core Four - James, Smith, Thompson and Love - after rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals. And if the Celtics want to claim one of the most improbable Finals berths in history, he's the player they'll need to silence.

But Irving missed a week, and then another, and then the Celtics announced he would miss at least three weeks after having "minimally invasive surgery". "Whenever I coached, I wanted my team playing the best at the end of the year".

Rubio waited a very long time to make his playoff debut, but he didn't disappoint when he finally got the chance. "But he has got a lot of great role players around him and guys who can really create as well". "As he's shown at various points in the first two rounds, there are certain times where there is just nothing you can do to slow him down". The 14-year vet was outstanding on both ends against the Raptors - notching 20 points in the opener and finishing with 15 points in both Games 2 and 4 - going a flawless 6-of-6 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from deep, in the series finale. If Brad Stevens decides to start Semi Ojeleye or Marcus Morris in place of Aron Baynes - a likely move, given that he recently did so in an effort to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo - the Celtics will trot out an ultra-switchable.

Here's the thing: others have tried to poke the bear (LeBron) before.

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It seems like we should be awash in dejà vu right about now, but so much is different. And in his past six games on Boston's parquet, he's averaging 34.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

That said, let's get into three keys for the Cavaliers as get ready to play Game 1 later today. It's carried over into the postseason where he is averaging 18.2 points per game.

"LeBron presents all kinds of challenges", said Horford. Against a guy like LeBron, it's the team.

Horford's teams haven't done well against LeBron in the past, and Big Al is going to have to be at the top of his game to flip that script.

So these are different teams - different even from when they met in the regular season for the last time on February 11.

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Look for Boston Coach Brad Stevens to take the grueling physical style played by the Pacers in the first round and ask his team to turn up the defensive heat.

Morris could be tasked with defending James more than any other Boston player, although the Celtics have hinted they will send a variety of bodies James' way.

"It's definitely not a one-on-one thing", said Brown. With injuries, without injuries, we finished number two seed, so we were doing something great all season.

"When you come in to learn how this team works it takes some time and when the guys came in Kevin was out for a while and we didn't have that time to jell as a team". To do so, they shipped off Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris.

"From our standpoint, I feel like it's been a lot of fun", he said. "We know what we have to focus on".

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If the Collegium sends it back a second time, as in the present case, the Centre is bound to accept the recommendation. On 2 May, when the collegium met to discuss the matter, it had to defer its decision due to a "lack of unanimity".

3 lessons Boston Celtics can learn from Pacers to dethrone LeBron James