It’s nice to rewind to Cavs eliminating C’s in East Finals on 5/25/17

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates in-game. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates in-game. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

On this May 25 date in 2017, the Cleveland Cavaliers put away the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, which is a nice memory for fans of the Wine and Gold.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are amid a rebuild, and while it is still a positive that young pieces such as Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have shown growth, not too long ago, the Wine and Gold were the class of the Eastern Conference.

That was of course in LeBron James‘ second stint with the Cavs, of which they most notably won the NBA Finals in 2016 NBA Finals via 3-1 comeback over the Golden State Warriors.

Anyway, with though it is reportedly likely that the 2019-20 NBA season will resume in at least some capacity at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney, we don’t know if non-playoff teams will be action, even if some regular season games are played out. The season has been on a novel coronavirus-induced hiatus since March 11.

USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zilgitt also reported that he’s heard “rumblings” on Sunday that if more regular season games are played, that non-playoff teams wouldn’t be participating.

From there, though, on Monday morning on ESPN’s Get Up, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said there’s a “really good chance” there’s no more regular season and that there would be a 16-team playoff, as h/t Chris Grenham of Forbes. Grenham also said how Windhorst alluded to a 1-16 seeding playoff is being left open and which would have to come an “owner vote.”

Considering it not being 100 percent clear if we’ll see more Cavs games this season, though, and with today being May 25, I figured it’d be nice to rewind to the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminating the Boston Celtics on this date in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.

In this 2017 Eastern Conference Finals for the Cavs against the Celtics, LeBron, Kyrie Irving and the Wine and Gold ran through Boston in those first two games.

Now, it was rough for the C’s that after the first game, Isaiah Thomas, who had 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game that season, was out from there due to a hip injury. That being said, he was clearly a massive defensive liability and Boston seemed to have better movement without him.

Anyhow, the Celtics would then fight back in Game 3 and stun the Cleveland home crowd by coming back from down 21 at one point, and despite Boston controlling the most of the first three quarters in that Game 4, Irving’s dazzling 42-point display and 21-point third quarter fueled a Cavs’ Game 4 victory. That set up a closeout opportunity for the Wine and Gold back in Boston in that ensuing Game 5, and they did just that.

It wasn’t so much the game itself, but the Cavs’ firepower then was unreal in that 2017 postseason, and in this next Game 5 closeout win, that was on full display. Right away, LeBron and the Wine and Gold were all business.

After the first quarter, the Cavaliers held a 43-27 lead, and James, Kevin Love and Irving combined for 30 points already on 12-of-19 shooting, per Basketball Reference. Kyle Korver, the Cavs’ resident flame thrower, also had six points in that opening period after hitting both of his three-point attempts.

Moving from there, Cleveland got a huge second quarter from backup guard Deron Williams, who had 14 points in the second quarter, which were his contributions for the game in that department. That was more than enough, though, and man did D-Will have it going in that stretch! After the first half, the Cavs held a 75-57 advantage, and were cruising along.

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From there, the Cavs got a 15-point and 13-point third from LeBron and Kyrie, who were getting what and wherever they wanted against Marcus Smart, Al Horford and the overmatched C’s. Irving had four assists in that span as well, and the Cleveland Cavaliers essentially put the game away in that third with a 34-17 advantage.

All together in this Game 5 rout, James coasted to 35 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a block in only 35 minutes, Irving had 24 points, seven assists and two steals, and Love had 15 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block, per Basketball Reference.

Williams made his presence felt, too, and in this 135-102 victory, the Cavs’ bench had a series-high 49 points.

This is a nice memory for us Cleveland Cavaliers fans on this May 25 date, again, as it was the last time the Wine and Gold had a postseason series win with Irving.

This game also marked LeBron passing Michael Jordan in all-time postseason points, and while that was in 33 fewer games from MJ, James did so on 118 less shots, as KJG’s Jackson Flickinger at the time pointed out.

The Cavs would unfortunately run into the Warriors with Kevin Durant, which was such a juggernaut with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green along with KD, and Cleveland lost in five in the 2017 NBA Finals, but it’s still fun to look back at memories with that Cavs team with Kyrie, Bron, Love and others.

Korver in with that group as well made that 2017 Cavs team one of the best in their history, too, and if it weren’t for Durant, I firmly believe they’d have a championship again. Even so, it’s cool to rewind to when that group punched their ticket to the NBA Finals on this date in 2017 and capped off a dominant 12-1 run in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

dark. Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Assembling their all-time starting five

Lastly, have an amazing Memorial Day, Cavs fans, and stay safe!