#Cleveland Cavaliers are finally back in action to play host to the #Boston Celtics in the #Eastern Conference Finals, after having an extremely long break. While the Cavs are well rested, the Celtics played two nights ago in a Game 7 against the Washington Wizards. How much of a factor would that be? In the Western Conference Finals, we saw the Golden State Warriors struggle in Game 1 because they had a long rest as well and looked rusty. Ultimately, the Warriors came back to win the game after finding their rhythm, but keep in mind that Kawhi Leonard left the game with an ankle injury that allowed Golden State to heat up. The Cavaliers are in the same position.

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They haven’t played a game since May 7 and could be rusty. Although they’ve had many practices in between, it just isn’t the same as a five-on-five playoff game especially being on the road. The Cavaliers may struggle in the first half, but it doesn’t mean they will be slumping the entire game.

Isaiah Thomas will have to play at a high level

Isaiah Thomas was essentially getting anything he wanted against the Wizards, using his quickness and craftiness at the basket to his advantage. The Cavaliers, however, are a much better defensive team, and their game plan will most likely consist of putting tremendous ball pressure on Thomas. Cleveland knows that if it can contain Thomas, the others will most likely struggle. Therefore, Thomas will have to play at an incredibly high level for the Celtics to succeed.

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He has to be wary of those traps on screen and rolls and has to be aggressive. Obviously, Boston is counting on Thomas to carry most of the workload offensively, so he has to be sharp and efficient.

Rebounding

No matter whom they play against, the Celtics have a disadvantage on the boards because they are undersized and lack athleticism. If they are not aware, Tristan Thompson will eat them up with his ability to grab offensive rebounds. Thompson is always around the rim looking to pluck offensive boards, which means the Celtics must box out and suck all five guys into the paint to secure defensive rebounds. Give the Cavaliers extra possessions, and they will take full advantage because they are an efficient offensive squad.

Take care of home court advantage

The best that the Celtics could do is take care of their home court advantage as they did against the Wizards. Aside from the first two games in the Chicago series, the Celtics have been playing extremely well at home, showing tremendous energy on both ends of the floor and major efficiency. They have to show the same energy and passion against Cleveland to keep their loyal fans in the game.

The Celtics cannot be rattled by the Cavs. They cannot allow the Cavaliers to intimidate them. Game 1 will tip-off at 8:30 pm Eastern Time and will be televised on TNT.