BOSTON — The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the TD Garden on Saturday afternoon in preparation for Sunday’s game 4 against the Celtics. The Cavs are looking to close out the series on Sunday with a win over Boston, the team is also looking to close out a notion, going around Boston at least, that Cleveland has breezed through round one of the playoffs based solely on their talent.
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“I do agree that they are playing hard,” said Cavs head coach David Blatt. “We’re playing no less hard and we’re being no less committed to the task than they are and it’s not just a matter of us being more talented. I think that is grossly unfair.”
LeBron James who knows a thing or two about talented teams disagrees with the notion as well.
“Talent doesn’t win basketball games,” James said before practice on Saturday. “You have to play hard as well, you have to execute. We’re in the NBA, everyone is talented, everyone is here for a reason.”
The Cavs are on the brink of eliminating the Celtics from the playoffs with a win on Sunday. One of the reasons Cleveland in the position to wrap up the series is the play of Kyrie Irving who is in the early stages of his first postseason. Irving in three playoff games has 69 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds. He admits, the postseason has exceeded his expectations.
“The intensity level, how competitive it is out there and it’s a totally different story than the regular season,” Irving said. “For the first time, me experiencing the playoffs, I just take it as a new experience every single game that I can learn from.”
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No NBA team has ever won a series after trailing 3-0 and the Cavs have always swept their opponent in the postseason when leading 3-0. A win Sunday in Boston would also end a five-year playoff series win drought for the Cavaliers.
“It’s no sprint, it’s a marathon,” said James. “This is what the postseason is about and our only concern is how well we play tomorrow. We want to play well, we want to close out but it’s not the end of the world.”
“It would be really important,” said Irving. “For us, we’re going to prepare like we have for the last three games and take it as that and try to come into Boston in another hostile environment and get a win.”
Sunday’s game tips off at 1:00. If the Celtics win Sunday’s game, the NBA announced that Game 5 will be at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.