Five Keys: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

Key: First Stop on the Tour

After an unusual summer following Cleveland’s loss in the 2017 Finals, some have dubbed the upcoming campaign “The LeBron James Revenge Tour.”

He finished outside the top three in MVP voting, watched some pundits calling Kevin Durant the new top dog and, above all, saw a former teammate he called a brother demand a trade to escape his shadow. Of course, the drama only escalates when that former teammate suits up for the squad Number 23 loves to hate.

Counting regular season and Playoffs, James has faced off against the Celtics exactly 80 times – averaging 29.3 points, 7.5 boards and 6.4 assists. In last year’s gentleman’s sweep of Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron averaged 29.6 points against Brad Stevens’ team – 34.3 if you exclude his 11-point hiccup in Game 3.

A cranky left ankle that he tweaked in the first week of Camp has limited LeBron to just one game in the preseason, and although Tyronn Lue said on Monday that he’s unsure whether his star forward will go against Boston, it’d be a surprise if he was forced to miss the opener.

With Jae Crowder in the mix, Coach Lue has rearranged the frontline, inserting Kevin Love at the 5 and sliding LeBron to the 4.

With his starters playing extended minutes together only once in the preseason, it’ll be interesting to see how the new lineup works out in live regular season action.

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