Paul Pierce believes 76ers could beat Cavs in first round of playoffs
The Cleveland Cavaliers should be considered the favorite to win the Eastern Conference as long as they have LeBron James, but Paul Pierce believes there is a legitimate chance they may not advance beyond the first round of the postseason.
If the playoffs began today, the No. 3 seed Cavs would host the No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers. With Cleveland trailing the Toronto Raptors 79-64 at halftime on Wednesday night, Pierce and Chauncey Billups debated over how tough of an opponent the Sixers would be for the Cavs. The discussion begins at around the 1:30 mark.
So here was the halftime segment of Raps-Cavs where we started by discussing how no LeBron James team had EVER given up 79 points in a half before, but then totally devolved into @PaulPierce34 & @1MrBigShot arguing over how tight a Cavs-Sixers playoff series would be. pic.twitter.com/CT6C9NIiTX
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) March 22, 2018
“They’re young. They’re hungry,” Pierce said. “It’s not a given Cleveland can get out of the first round if they play Philly.”
The Cavs have been inconsistent this season, but it’s a stretch to say the 76ers are ready to get the best of LeBron in a seven-game series. That would require winning at least one playoff game in Cleveland, which is no easy task.
Of course, many have pointed out that Pierce had his own rivalry with James that dates back a number of years, and this isn’t the first time the Boston Celtics legend has tried to downplay LeBron’s accomplishments. Perhaps there is some bias at play.