Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Celtics End ‘The Process’ And Advance to ECF

May 10, 2018 - 10:03 am

By Joe Schiller

Despite missing small forward Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the Celtics find themselves in their second straight Eastern Conference Finals under head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston ended “The Process” and closed out a 4-1 second-round series against the 76ers with a thrilling 114-112 win at home last night.

It was the two youngsters that led the way for the Celtics in Game 5. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 49 points and were the spark plugs from the floor. Danny Ainge’s decision to trade out of the No. 1 overall pick last season makes him look like an absolute genius now.

As Markelle Fultz sat on the bench, Tatum stole the show and scored the go-ahead bucket with 22.5 seconds left to give the Celtics a two-point lead.

While the Celtics won the series handily on paper, four of the game games were decided by five points or less. The new-look 76ers were impressive in their first playoff debut. They’ll only continue to get stronger with the young core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and T.J. McConnell.

But for now, it’s all about the Celtics as they come up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a Conference Finals rematch. LeBron and company won handily 4-1 in 2017 and are playing their best basketball as of now. They’re on another level after cruising through the No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors.

How does Tatum plan on stopping LeBron?

That’s yet to be figured out.