10 greatest Cleveland Cavaliers playoff performances of this century

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a lot of memorable playoff runs since they drafted LeBron James in 2003. They have made the NBA Finals 5 times, and even won the Championship in the Iconic 2016 NBA Finals, where they overcame a 3-1 deficit versus the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. Let's take a trip down memory lane and countdown the 10 best Cavs playoff games since 2000.
Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 6
Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 6 / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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9. 2018 Eastern Conference Finals Game Seven vs. Boston Celtics

The stakes don’t get much higher than this, a Game Seven to determine who will move on to the Eastern Conference Finals and who will go home early. The 2018 season had a lot of question marks going into the year and was a roller-coaster ride the whole way through.

After Kyrie Irving requested a trade in the summer of 2017, the Cavs traded him for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder alongside a 2018 first-round pick and Ante Zizic. Isaiah was coming off of a career year, averaging 30.8 points and 6.3 assists per game, and was awarded a Second Team All-NBA spot. Cavs fans were devastated to lose Kyrie, but Isaiah was supposed to be his replacement.

Unfortunately, after rehabbing from his hip injury and finally seeing the court as a Cavalier, he struggled mightily. Isaiah was shooting 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range. He only played 15 games before the Cavs decided to trade him (among others) at the trade deadline. The Cavs were in disarray and lacked an identity going into the 2018 playoffs. But, after a legendary LeBron James playoff run, along with a multitude of players stepping up in different moments, the Cavs were one game away from their fourth consecutive Finals.

The Boston series was a stressful one for the Cavalier fanbase. The Celtics were without their two new stars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, due to injury. However, they rallied behind their young stars Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and then-rookie Jayson Tatum to jump out to a 2-0 series lead and an eventual 3-2 lead.  According to LandOfBasketball.com, teams up 3-2 win the series 84 percent of the time.

The Cavs were also without Kevin Love for Game Seven due to a concussion. There was an anxious energy around this game for Cavaliers fans. When the lights turned on, LeBron James was ready for the moment, and the young Celtics were affected by the pressure. LeBron played the entire 48 minutes and had 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. Jeff Green stepped up in his role, starting for Kevin Love, and added 19 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics shot 7-of-39 from three-point range and just couldn’t find their rhythm with the pressure on. The Cavaliers would win an intense, low-scoring game to the score of 87-79 and advance to their fourth straight Finals against the Warriors.