Shane Larkin Injury: Celtics Guard Likely Out For Entire Cavs Series

Jayson Tatum

Now, with added firepower in veteran Chris Paul, the Rockets have went from being "one piece away", to being the favorite to take down the Golden State Warriors and become a brand new representation in the Western Conference.

Over in the East, the Toronto Raptors charged to the top seed and appeared to be in good shape to represent the conference in the NBA Finals.

Ahead of Sunday's series opener at TD Garden, Stevens spoke with The Athletic's Jay King about Larkin's timetable.

Boston needed point guard Terry Rozier to turn his game up a notch when star Kyrie Irving was lost for the season with a knee injury. Charles Barkley declared "their season is over" on national television. The Cavs are coming off a four game sweep of the Toronto Raptors, defeating the "We the North" squad for the third straight season in the playoffs. "But just with me, Al (Horford), Terry, Jaylen, we've been here from that team from previous year, just kind of letting guys know it's not going to be easy". For them to be able to see this far, and it to come out to play how it is, it's a little wonderful. I didn't see any of that. "I think that's something different that we will bring to the table".

James has had success against everyone since entering the National Basketball Association as a teen sensation in 2003, but lately has especially been hard for the Celtics. They dropped to fourth in the conference as the Philadelphia 76ers ran off 16 straight wins at the end of the season. He teased the Pacers and made them think they had a shot, only to snuff the life out of them in Game Seven. "This is what we worked all year for".

"In the playoffs we know there is a lot of physicality".

"It's a sight to see", Marcus Smart said of his young teammates.

They are 7-0 at home in the playoffs. And they, for the most part, succeeded. Obviously, you know what I've said about Brad Stevens before and his ability to get the most out of his guys, how great they are out of timeouts, late-clock situations as well no matter who is on the floor or no matter who has played for them, he can put guys in position to succeed and get the most out of whoever has been in their lineup over the past few years, it's not just this year. He's not even, like, been on the team. Morris played in only two of Boston's three games against Cleveland.

Tatum has a shot at history in this series. After some struggles in the seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cavaliers stepped up in the second round. Lew Alcindor, then of the Milwaukee Bucks, holds the record with 10 in a row in 1970.

Shane Larkin is out for at least the first half of the series due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the second round.

"It's still fresh; it's still sore", he said.

And Tatum just stopped being a teenager a little more than two months ago.

"I'm smarter, have more experience, more comfortability with the game, more familiarity with it, just more confident".

Horford has been a leader for Boston through the 12 playoff games, averaging 17.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game - essentially doing everything for his team.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James has carried the Cavs on his back at times, averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 11 playoff games for the Cavaliers, who edged in in a seven-game first round before sweeping Eastern conference top seed Toronto in the second round.

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