Boston Celtics

One Big Three stands in way of the other

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One Big Three stands in way of the other

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

MIAMI For years, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were hell-bent on breaking through the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

That meant getting past the Detroit Pistons, a perennial NBA power in the early-to-mid 2000s that frequently ended the Cavaliers' season.

Dwyane Wade had similar struggles with the Pistons during that time period as well.

Now teammates with the Heat, both see the Boston Celtics in a similar light on the eve of today's Game 1 second-round matchup.

"They ended all our seasons," James said. "We decided to join forces, Like Captain Planet."

Indeed, Wade and James, along with Chris Bosh from Toronto, have been the most talked-about trio of players since, well, Boston's Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined forces in 2007.

The Celtics' Big Three had their ups and downs in that first year, but those trials and tribulations paid off with Banner 17.

Celtics players from that team understand exactly what the Heat is looking to do right now.

"Even with the players we had, it wasn't easy breaking through," Boston forward Glen Davis told CSNNE.com recently. "But when you break through, you know it. Everybody knows. Then it becomes about staying on top."

And that brings us to today's game, one that features a team that has already achieved great success - Boston - against a Miami Heat team that is expected to win it all this year - just months after coming together.

From a championship-like celebration before the season started, to all the talk about winning multiple championships, the pressure to bring home the Heat's second NBA title has been on from the very beginning.

As much as Miami players embrace that role, they understand that it's not going to be easy.

And if they are to in fact do it, it'll have to include dethroning an aging - but still very dangerous - Celtics team.

"At some point, if they're healthy and they play well, for you to get to the top, you will have to go through them," Miami's Zydrunas Ilgauskas told CSNNE.com. "At some point, you're going to run into them. That's OK. You want to beat the best to be the best. We wouldn't have it any other way."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Cavs expect Isaiah Thomas playing in games by January

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Cavs expect Isaiah Thomas playing in games by January

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Isaiah Thomas could be running the point for Cleveland by the end of the year.

The All-Star point guard, acquired from the Celtics this summer in a blockbuster trade, has made progress with his hip injury, and the Cavaliers expect him to be playing games by January.

Thomas has begun running and doing on-court activities as he rehabilitates the injury, which prematurely ended his postseason with the Celtics. Cleveland acquired him in a trade that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, its biggest challenger in the East.

Thomas doesn’t need surgery. While the Eastern Conference champions have been encouraged by his recovery, they will not rush him back. While he gets healthy, Derrick Rose, another summer acquisition, will start at point guard.

Thomas averaged 28.9 points last season for the Celtics, who sent him along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round draft to Cleveland.

The Cavaliers were concerned with Thomas’ injury, so the Celtics added a second-round pick to complete the deal.

When they introduced Thomas at a news conference, the Cavaliers were vague about a timeline for his return, mainly because they hadn’t yet worked with him. It’s now possible Thomas could be back and playing by Christmas, when the Cavs visit Golden State.

Thomas is only under contract for the upcoming season and has said in the past he wants a maximum contract.

Copyright The Associated Press.
 

Does LeBron have any advice for Kyrie? 'No'

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Does LeBron have any advice for Kyrie? 'No'

LeBron James was asked at the Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day on Monday if he had any advice for old teammate Kyrie Irving.

His answer was pretty emphatic.

"No. I got no advice for him or any other people that's on any other team...You're either with us or you're against us," James said.

Watch the video below:

Irving, of course, is now a Boston Celtic after his trade from Cleveland and a not-so-smooth parting of ways with James. 

James did say he was puzzled by Irving's decision to ask for a trade.

“I tried to do whatever I could do to help the kid out and be the best player he could be,” James said.

“I tried to give him everything and give him as much of the DNA as I could,” James said. “Because like I told you guys throughout the season, at some point, when he was ready to take over the keys, I was ready to give them to him.”