After a dance-filled weeklong break, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally have an Eastern Conference Finals opponent.
The Boston Celtics defended home court Monday and earned a 115-105 win over the Washington Wizards to advance to their first conference final since 2012. Isaiah Thomas scored a team-high 29 points and Kelly Olynyk added 26, as Boston continued the trend of home teams winning.
The schedule is now set for Boston's showdown with Cleveland:
|Eastern Conference Finals Schedule|
|1||Wednesday, May 17||Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|2||Friday, May 19||Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|3||Sunday, May 21||Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4||Tuesday, May 23||Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|5*||Thursday, May 25||Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|6*||Saturday, May 27||Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|7*||Monday, May 29||Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
Boston and Washington split each of the first six games down the middle, and the home team won every game of the series. The Celtics will now play a Cavaliers team that has played eight games total this postseason.
Consecutive sweeps of the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors have Cleveland well rested and heading into the conference finals as a heavy favorite. The Cavs have not played since finishing off the Raptors last Sunday, giving them a lengthy rest between games.
"We're healthy," LeBron James said, per Scott Cacciola of the New York Times. "We got more practice time during the playoffs than we did the whole month of March because of injuries and because we were on the road so much."
The Cavaliers won three of the season's four games with the Celtics, including their most recent meeting April 5 in Boston. James scored a game-high 36 points and Kevin Love grabbed 16 rebounds in the 114-91 blowout.
Defending Thomas and Avery Bradley will be the Cavaliers' most difficult task in getting past Boston. Their perimeter defense has been leaky all season, and Cleveland doesn't have a stopper who will be able to consistently halt Thomas or Bradley from making penetration.
The defending champions will be put to the test starting Wednesday.