BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics survived their seven-game battle with the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and now move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East Finals.
The Celtics won’t have much time to soak in that dramatic series against Washington, with Game 1 against the Cavaliers set for Wednesday night in Boston. The defending champs are a well-rested bunch, as they will have had 10 days off since their sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the East Semis by the time the Conference Finals begins.
“We have to get ready for the defending champs, and we know that. The good thing about it is we have home court advantage. We’ll be ready Wednesday to take care of our home court,” Isaiah Thomas said after Boston’s Game 7 win over the Wizards on Monday. “We know it’s going to be tough, but at this point, anything can happen.”
Here’s the full schedule for the upcoming Eastern Conference Championship series against the Celtics and Cavaliers:
Game 1: Wednesday, May 17, at TD Garden
Game 2: Friday, May 19, at TD Garden
Game 3: Sunday, May 21, at Quicken Loans Arena
Game 4: Tuesday May 23, at Quicken Loans Arena
Game 5: Thursday May 25, at TD Garden*
Game 6: Saturday May 27, at Quicken Loans Arena*
Game 7: Monday, May 29, at TD Garden*
* if necessary
All games will tip off shortly after 8:30 p.m. and can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub, the flagship station of the Boston Celtics.
The Cavs took three of the four regular season matchups against Boston, winning both games in Cleveland early in the season. The Celtics’ only win against the Cavaliers came on March 1 at the TD Garden when Isaiah Thomas scored 31 points and knocked down a pair of free throws to clinch the 103-99 victory, overcoming a triple-double by LeBron James. Things were much more lopsided when the two teams squared off for the final time in the regular season on April 5, as the Cavs embarrassed the Celtics 114-91 at the TD Garden on 36 points by James.
James averaged 29.3 points over his four games against Boston, adding 9.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists to his stat line. Kyrie Irving averaged 25.5 points in his four games against the Celtics while Kevin Love averaged 23.7 points and 13 rebounds in his three games against the C’s.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for Boston against Cleveland, averaging 29.5 points off 49 percent shooting and 6.5 assists over four games. Al Horford, who missed their first meeting of the season with a concussion, averaged nine points, six rebounds and 4.7 assists against the Cavaliers.
This marks Boston’s first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2012, when they fell to James and the Miami Heat in seven games.