2017 NBA Playoffs
2017 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Eastern Conference finals - Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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May 16, 2017 1:20 PM ET

The Cavs and Celtics differ vastly in how much they have used isolation plays in the postseason.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 32-4 in the Eastern Conference playoffs since LeBron James returned home in 2014. So it's fair if you already have the champs penciled in for a third straight matchup with the Golden State Warriors in The Finals.

After a lackluster second half of the regular season and a first round with a few close calls, the Cavs took care of business in their conference semifinals sweep of the Toronto Raptors. Their defense was significantly better and their offense remained unstoppable.

The last East team to beat LeBron James in the playoffs is the same team standing in the way of him making his seventh straight trip to The Finals. But this is an entirely different Boston Celtics team than the one that was a two possessions from winning a championship in 2010. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens have quickly rebuilt a contender while retaining the assets they got for tearing one down.

The Celtics have home-court advantage, but will have to recover quickly from a seven-game series with the Washington Wizards for Game 1 on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT). The Cavs may have to shake off some rust, but an extended rest seemed to do them good in the last round.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Eastern Conference finals, with links to let you dive in and explore more.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Boston Celtics (53-29)

First round: Beat Chicago in six games.
Conf. semis: Beat Washington in seven games.
Pace: 96.6 (9)
OffRtg: 110.8 (5)
DefRtg: 105.5 (3)
NetRtg: +5.3 (4)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Cleveland: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Celtics playoff notes:


Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)

First round: Beat Indiana in four games.
Conf. semis: Beat Toronto in four games.
Pace: 98.5 (7)
OffRtg: 117.0 (1)
DefRtg: 105.9 (4)
NetRtg: +11.0 (2)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Boston: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Cavs playoffs notes:


The matchup

Season series: Cavs won 3-1 (2-0 in Cleveland)
Nov. 3 @ CLE - Cavs 128, Celtics 122
Dec. 29 @ CLE - Cavs 124, Celtics 118
Mar. 1 @ BOS - Celtics 103, Cavs 99
Apr. 5 @ BOS - Cavs 114, Celtics 91

Pace: 99.3
BOS OffRtg: 110.2 (13th vs. CLE)
CLE OffRtg: 116.1 (1st vs. BOS)

Matchup notes:

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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