"We've been playing against a very good team, all credit to those guys, but we feel like we should be here and we feel like we should be a championship-contending team". We can't turn the ball over that much because it leads to points.
With their home crowd behind them, the Celtics will be a formidable opponent.
CelticsBlog asked Stevens about how he felt achieving all they accomplished this season, despite falling short of the title. They've cleaned that up drastically, holding teams right around 14 fast-break points per game in the playoffs, which could be a reflection of the weak teams they faced, stepped-up defensive effort on their part or a combination of both.
He finished the game with 35 points, booking his seventh straight finals appearance as the reigning champion Cavs wrapped up a 4-1 victory over the Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.
As Lebron went to the bench with 4 fouls midway through the second quarter, Kyrie came alive, scoring 12 points in the remaining 6 and a half minutes in the quarter. LeBron James & Co. were so confident in their ability to perform as a team when it counted most that earning home court advantage throughout the playoffs was insignificant. The past couple of games shows that perhaps they are closer to competing than we thought just a week ago.
Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this postseason.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives on Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs. They will be playing for their playoff lives on Thursday, which brings with it a heightened level of intensity.
Game 1: June 1 at 9 p.m. "That's just how the game be played".
The argument can be made that this Celtics roster wouldn't have gotten past the Cavaliers even with a healthy Thomas available.
Al Horford (42) and the Celtics could not stop Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving in Game 4. In a series full of megastars like Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay and Red Kelly in Detroit and Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion in Montreal, it was an unsung player who became the hero. Winning Powerball lucky. Getting four first-round draft picks from the Nets lucky.
"I'm just happy to be able to sit back, with four fouls, and see him do what he's always been built to do".
Building around Fultz and parting ways with Thomas is risky. The Warriors are the better team and should be favored, but this is a lot of points to give a Cavs team that will have the best player in the series and is one of maybe two teams that can shoot with Golden State. With Thomas, they already have that.
Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination. He is eligible for free agency after next season.
Right now, there are far more questions than answers surrounding this Celtics team. "It's tough. And we really didn't know what to expect".