Celtics to Eastern Conference Finals Getty

Celtics to Eastern Conference Finals

Analysis

Basketball

May 16th, 2024

The Boston Celtics are back in familiar territory. With a dominant 113-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, the Celtics clinched their third consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

Player Stats

Jayson Tatum spearheaded the Boston offense, dropping 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But it was a total team effort, with veteran Al Horford putting up a monster stat line of 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Horford's performance was particularly impressive considering he's 37 years old, joining elite company alongside LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for such a playoff stat line in that age group.

The Celtics faced a shorthanded Cavs team missing key players like Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Caris LeVert. Despite the disadvantage, Cleveland hung tough throughout the first three quarters. However, Boston displayed their championship pedigree in the fourth, pulling away with a decisive 13-2 run that sealed the series win.

This Celtics team boasts a strong core, with Jaylen Brown making his sixth Eastern Conference Finals appearance and Tatum his fifth.

"It just shows the character of the team, the organization," Tatum said. "We're all in this together... We're doing something right."

Celtics continue to Eastern Conference Finals over weakened Cavs 

While Boston celebrates, questions surround the Cavaliers' future. The absence of Mitchell, who averaged a staggering 29.6 points in the playoffs before missing the final two games, loomed large. With Mitchell eligible for a contract extension but showing no clear signs of commitment, Cleveland faces an uncertain offseason. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff's future is also in question, with his contract situation up in the air.

The Celtics now await the winner of the ongoing Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, where the Knicks currently hold a 3-2 lead.

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tag: Celtics , Cavaliers , NBA Playoffs , Eastern Conference Finals

Klind Parangoni Author

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