LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas Embrace After Cavs Eliminate Celtics

26 May 2017, 08:13 | Kristine Mills

Maybe the league's best center. It's notable that Boston is without All-Star Isaiah Thomas, but the Celtics have given the Cavaliers a run for their money over the last couple of games.

They were two of the NBA's best players during the regular season and played pivotal roles in helping their respective teams reach the Eastern Conference finals. The Warriors have managed it-so much so that Lue already seemed to be sweating some of the Cavs' habits when it came time for his sideline interview. No matter which path they choose, however, one question looms over all of them: What should they do with Thomas? The Celtics, who shot just 44.3 percent from the field, couldn't capitalize on James' absence and took a mere 57-47 halftime bubble.

"He just never had the opportunity because of the team at that point in time". In the normal course of life, a player grieving at the loss of a family member would have excused himself from any kind of professional proceedings. The Celtics also managed to overcome a 0-2 deficit to the Bulls and outlasted Washington in a seven-game series, although he had Thomas for those games. Still, Boston covered the spread for the second straight game.

This, however, is where the story gets complicated. Presumably, it's the player who was given a four-year max contract last summer and who makes $14.5 million more than the roster's next highest-paid player. Still, Cleveland can finish things off tonight and I think they will play well on the road. "They're paying everybody else". I'm pretty sure Steph Curry couldn't even do this. This season was his seventh year in the National Basketball Association. That's especially true when one considers a max contract next summer will begin with an annual salary of more than the total amount he'll have made in his career.

"We played as well as we'd played in the entire playoffs in the first half and then for various reasons that didn't happen in the second half". Bradley's game-winning three-pointer with 1/10 of a second left on the clock in Game 3 kept the series alive for another game in Boston. That puts him just one behind Bill Russell, whose Celtics teams played in eight consecutive finals from 1959-1966.

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In fact, they completely silenced him midway through the second quarter, as James picked up not one, not two, not three, but four personal fouls with over six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

All of this creates the backdrop for what should be a fascinating next few months in Boston.

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

But Thomas turned up to play for the Celtics against the Chicago Bulls in the first-round despite the vast personal trauma he was undergoing.

Boston looks forward to the NBA Draft on June 22, when the Celtics have the first overall pick.

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