The Boston Celtics finally ended their series against the Washington Wizards, winning in seven games in a hard-fought intense battle. Now they will move on to play the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been resting since May 8. The series will begin Wednesday, May 17 in Boston at the TD Garden.

Recapping the season series

The Cavaliers won the season series, 3-1, losing the only game by four points on the road. Most of the games in the regular season were close contests, except the final meeting where the Cavaliers thrashed the Celtics to send a message.

In Boston’s only win, Kevin Love did not play due to injury, as Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 31 points and five assists on 50 percent shooting. How would Boston matchup now against the Cavs?

1. Boston Celtics vs. 2. Cleveland Cavaliers

The one obvious advantage for the Celtics is home court. They will play four of the seven games at the TD Garden and must take advantage like they did against the Wizards last series. The Cavaliers are a team that is fully capable of winning on the road, as they are a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs already. The Celtics must ride the energy of the crowd to outlast the Cavaliers. If they allow Cleveland to shut down the crowd early, they will be in deep trouble.

The Celtics will have their hands full with constant basket attacks by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Unfortunately, Boston doesn’t possess the size and shot blocking in the paint, which should clear the lane for James and Irving. It’s nearly impossible to stop James at the basket without length and size. Therefore, Boston’s perimeter defense has to be the focal point on that end of the floor.

Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown must play physical around the perimeter to stop James and Irving from driving.

Rebounding will be another enormous factor. So far, the Celtics have survived two series’ with their mediocre rebounding. However, the Cavaliers are far too talented and deep to allow Boston to get away with a major flaw.

If given extra possessions due to poor defensive rebounding, Cleveland will surely take advantage since they are a deadly offensive team.

It will be interesting to see how well Isaiah Thomas does against Cleveland’s suffocating defense as well. When the Cavs are focused, they are able to overwhelm Thomas with size. Against the Wizards, Thomas found openings by using a lot of screen and rolls. The Celtics will definitely continue to abuse the screen and roll, but the Cavaliers are more versatile, which allows them to help and recover very quickly.

Maybe the Celtics could find a way to steal one game, but the Cavaliers are the clear favorites to win the series. They have swept their first two opponents and are determined to repeat as champions. The Celtics simply don’t have enough firepower to compete.

Prediction: Cavaliers 4-1