Eastern Conference Finals: We meet again
A year has passed, and a lot has transpired, since the Celtics and Cavaliers faced off in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals. Now they're back, with the 2018 series starting Sunday. Here's a quick look at what a difference a year makes, and what you need to know about the series.
First thing you need to know: The Celtics are big underdogs. But that's nothing new for the Kyrie Irving/Gordon Hayward/Marcus Smart (for a little while)/Daniel Theis-less Celts in this postseason, and it hasn't meant much so far.
There wasn't much bad blood in the Cavs' five-game victory over the Celtics last year, but even if there was it wouldn't matter much. Not many players -- on either side -- are still here.
Cleveland, however, is bringing back most of its top scorers from last year's series (with one notable exception). But Boston? Not so much.
Leading scorers? The Celtics aren't bringing back many of players from last year's starting lineup.
We say what a difference a year makes, but what a difference six months makes. Take a look at the starting lineups from Opening Night on Oct. 17, when the Celts and Cavs met in Cleveland and the trajectory of the C's season changed in the first five minutes.
So far we've been looking back. Time to look ahead. And the Celtics certainly hope Al Horford has more success against LeBron James in the future than he's had in the past.
And that Kevin Love has less success against them in the future than he's had in the past.
It all starts Sunday. Mark your calendar.