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I think it’s becoming very clear who the superpowers in the Eastern Conference will be. It became especially clear after the Cavs’ 109-104 win (NBA.com box score) over the Celtics in overtime. The class of the East includes the Celtics, the Cavs, the Magic, and the Pistons.
These four teams are the top four teams in the conference right now if you look at the standings, and there’s only one other team (the Milwaukee Bucks) who has a winning record. Most teams are around .500 or below it. (NBA.com Standings)
As far as the Celtics-Cavs game goes, it was a back-and-forth affair, especially in fourth quarter as teams exchanged leads until remaining tied at the end of regulation. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 29 points but uncharacteristically missed two huge free throws that would’ve given the Celtics the lead with 23 seconds left.
LeBron James took over in overtime, scoring 11 of his game-high 38 points to seal the 5-point win for the Cavs. LeBron hit 14 of 15 from the free throw line while his Cavs hit 77.8% overall from the line en route to the victory.
The Celtics were not nearly as consistent from the charity stripe, making only 69% of their tries. This game was bigger that just a win or a loss, or missed free throws. This is the first of four meetings between these two powers this season. The next game between the two will be played in Boston this coming Sunday, Dec. 2.
The Celtics have gone 0-2 against my other choices for conference powers (the Magic and Cavs). Fans must remember that both losses were on the road, and we will find out how the Celtics play against these teams at home this season. Mark your calendar for the Cavs-Celtics rematch at the Garden on Dec. 2.