Celtics coach Brad Stevens said though he's disappointed with how the season ended, he's encouraged that no one in Boston's locker room is satisfied just making it to the conference finals. Besides the offensive and defensive ends, there are several other areas of the game that could be determining factors in deciding which team will come away with their second National Basketball Association championship in three years.
Thursday night, the Boston fans do in fact get another home game as the injury-riddled Celtics try to send the series back to Cleveland for Game 6.
The Boston Celtics showed this postseason that they have players who could fill in for Isaiah Thomas when the star point guard was injured. He and Jae Crowder (groin) are listed as probable for Game 5 while rookie Jaylen Brown (hip pointer) is questionable.
James had been saying that he felt like the Cavs needed to go through some adversity after a blistering 10-0 start to the postseason. The reigning champions easily swept the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors on their way to the conference finals.
From hitting the championship-winning shot against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals to stepping up at a time when small forward LeBron James was struggling through foul trouble against the Celtics, Irving has never shied away from that kind of stage.
While Irving's scoring ignited the Cavs' comeback, it was made possible thanks to Cleveland's defensive effort over the final 24 minutes.
This year we could conceivably see an NBA Finals with every star player featured in all seven (fingers crossed for seven) games. "We have to execute offensively".
For the third straight year they'll face the Warriors for the crown.
Sentence overturned for teen in 'Beltway Sniper' crime spree
Malvo, now 32 years old, is currently being held at Red Onion State Prison, a super-maximum security prison in Virginia. Under Virginia law, a capital murder conviction requires either a death sentence or life without parole.
Irving, who scored a career-playoff-high 42 points, rolled his left ankle with 1:49 left in his 21-point third quarter but is expected to play Thursday. In Game 2, he scored 53 points - one shy of John Havlicek's franchise record.
The last pick in the 2011 National Basketball Association draft, Thomas has emerged as an All-Star in Boston.
It's an indication that despite still being in a dire 3-1 hole, the resolve inside Boston's locker room remains strong.
Peaking at The Right Time - Another interesting piece to this puzzle is that the Warriors have not been challenged this postseason, remaining flawless by dispatching Portland, Utah, and San Antonio without losing a game, going 12-0.
"I know I said a few things in the media about the situation he was going through, but I was happy to see him, give him a big hug from myself and my family". The Cavs are well experienced and surely understand that they'll need to play both sides of the ball versus the Golden State Warriors.
"You can't (think about it)".
Rebounding / Toughness - The edge in rebounding goes to Cleveland, but not by much.
If nothing else, Lue said their recent taste of adversity should help them remain humble heading into Game 5. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Michael, just seeing what he was able to accomplish", James said. I hope we have that chance to make that determination.
"This is something that will be talked about long after us", Draymond Green said.