Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt insists that the team will not underestimate the Boston Celtics ahead of their opening round playoff series.
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The Cavs ended the regular season as the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference but while that was expected the Celtics surprised many by making the playoffs at all.
Coach Brad Stevens has abandoned the plan to continue to rebuild in order to instead chase immediate success and it certainly paid off as his team have played some impressive basketball and deserve their spot in the post-season.
The Celtics have won nine of their last 10 games and compiled the most wins in the conference since February 1 as they finished the regular season on a 24-12 run.
“A really, really, really good team,” Blatt said as reported by ESPN when asked about the Celtics on Wednesday.
“Extremely well coached. Hungry. Ambitious. Playing very well and athletic around the court. Not a simple first-round matchup at all. Not at all.”
Although the season series is locked at 2-2 between the two teams, it is a flawed argument to make in favour of the Celtics causing their rivals problems as for the last two meetings the Cavs were short-handed through a combination of injuries and resting key players.
Nevertheless, it will be another chance for the Celtics fans to welcome LeBron James to the TD Garden and although he historically flourishes against Boston, it promises to be an exciting match-up between two well coached and creative teams that will be desperately pushing to make the semi-finals.
James insisted that Cleveland will be focused on their game and going out and executing the way they know how, and so whatever Stevens and his four-guard rotation come up with will just be another factor that the championship favourites have to deal with as they go along.