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Do Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics Have Any Chance of Knocking Off LeBron James and the Cavaliers?

Submitted by on May 16, 2017 – 4:48 pmNo Comment

Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics just took part in a very emotional playoff series against the Washington Wizards. The Celtics knocked off the Wizards in Game 7 of the series on Monday night. And their reward for doing so? A date with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. How kind.

This is, of course, exactly what the Celtics wanted. They have been angling for a matchup with the Cavaliers in the ECF all season long, and they fought hard at the end of the season to earn home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. That means that Boston will host Cleveland in Game 1 of the ECF on Wednesday night, when they will get the chance to hand the Cavaliers their first loss of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. If they’re able to do that, it will give them the confidence they need to contest the Cavs in the rest of the series.

But does Boston really have a shot to knock off Cleveland in a best-of-7 series? As of right now, the public doesn’t seem to think so. The Cavaliers are huge favorites in Las Vegas, where the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has them listed as a -900 favorite over the Celtics. That means that, if you bet $100 on Cleveland to win the series, you would only win about $10. Conversely, a $100 bet on the +600 Celtics would net you $600. Bottom line: The Celtics are big underdogs despite being the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

It doesn’t seem like that’s bothering Thomas much. He said the Celtics have felt like the underdogs throughout the playoffs thus far and don’t want to see that change now. “They didn’t give us a chance [against the Wizards],” he said on Monday night. “They didn’t give us a chance when we were down 2-0 to Chicago…They don’t ever give us a chance, and we just keep going; we don’t care about what others say.”

That may have worked against the Chicago Bulls in the first round and the Wizards in the second. But will it be enough to work against the Cavs? It’s unlikely. But if nothing else, the Celtics are going to try and make things interesting. And after seeing how the Cavaliers steamrolled the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors in the first two rounds, we’ll all take an interesting series over another boring, predictable one at this point.

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