If you’re wondering why the Boston Celtics still carry a chip on their shoulders as the No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, look no further.
Based on seeding alone, the Celtics should win or at least make very competitive their Eastern Conference Finals series against the No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers. But many view the defending NBA champions as prohibitive favorites, including one Skip Bayless.
As the Celtics wrapped up their Game 7 win over the Washington Wizards at TD Garden, the FS1 host chimed in with a take that won’t please many folks in Boston.
Not only does Bayless believe the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal would present a greater challenge to LeBron James and Co., but he doesn’t give the C’s a fighting chance against Cleveland. In fact, he doesn’t see Boston winning a single game.
While Bayless is taking his prediction to the extreme, he’s not alone in pegging the Celtics as underdogs: ESPN’s “BPI” prediction model gives them just a 45 percent chance to beat the Cleveland in the seven-game series. Washington also posed some problems to the Cavs this season, taking them to overtime in February and defeating them on the road in March.
Then again, Boston has won five straight home playoff games and will look to carry that momentum into Game 1 at TD Garden on Wednesday — with a bit of extra motivation.
“They didn’t give us a chance in this series (against Washington), (and) they didn’t give us a chance when we were down 2-0 in Chicago,” Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said after Monday’s game. “We got the number one seed and they didn’t give us a chance. They don’t ever give us a chance.”
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