Most of the talk in the media talk surrounding the first round matchup between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers has been about Cleveland's dominance.

Requisite mention is given to the Celtics late-season success, but rarely in the sense of it representing any sort of threat to what many believe will be Cleveland's likely trip to the Finals.

But whether he's truly concerned or simply making sure his Cavs do not take their opponent too lightly, Coach David Blatt appreciates the challenge the men in green could present.

In a piece by Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, the coach is reported to have said the following about Boston:

"A really, really, really good team. Extremely well coached. Hungry. Ambitious. Playing very well and athletic around the court. Not a simple first-round matchup at all. Not at all."

Still, there's been very little suggested from reputable sources (besides Mike Gorman) that Cleveland had better stay focused lest they suffer an unexpected early exit from the playoffs.

Part of the Celtics' uniqueness is demonstrated in its guard flexibility.

What's most exciting about the Celtics' brand of basketball is coach Brad Stevens and his interchangeable four guards in Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner and Marcus Smart. He plays them in all sorts of combinations, often putting three of them on the floor at the same time.

But the starting point guard for the Celtics' opponent doesn't think that's a big deal.

"I think the thing for that is that we also can go four guards," Irving said, alluding to the occasions he can take the floor alongside J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and James, who handles the ball like a guard. "It's a dynamic that we'll obviously have to go up against, but I feel we'll prepare as much as possible for it and Coach will make adjustments if need be."

But this is all talk. If the games were played out on page or in speech than the contests would be blue book tests or Oxford-style debates.

Instead, they are physical battles wherein the strongest willed, coached and skilled teams prevail.

The first such contest is Sunday, April 19 at 3:00pm EST.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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Chris Quimby 4/18/2015 03:28:00 PM Edit
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