Danny Ainge: this Celtics/Cavaliers series isn't like two years ago. Ya think?

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Two years ago, on their way to the NBA championship, the Celtics and Cavaliers had a fantastic, epic clash in the second round. Seven big games, where at times it looked like LeBron James was going to almost single-handedly knock Boston out of the playoffs. Coming out of that, the Celtics were sharper than they had been, and they got their banner.

This year, it’s going to be a different series, Boston General Manager Danny Ainge told WEEI in Boston.

LeBron has got a better supporting cast than Dwyane Wade has, but the biggest difference why Cleveland is better is because LeBron is better, in my opinion.  LeBron is a better player today than he was two years ago, significantly in my opinion.  I mean with his outside shooting.  His shooting is so much better.  That is the only reason that we beat them two years ago is that LeBron didn’t have great shooting games.”

In the same way that you could make a good case that Kevin Durant was the most improved player in the NBA this season, LeBron has made leaps like that as well. We just tend to overlook it because his game was already spectacular.

As Wade was, LeBron is the single biggest problem the Celtics face starting tomorrow. The difference is that LeBron has guys who can take advantage of the double teams. Guys who can make Boston pay for their coverage choices. Wade had Beasley.

This is going to be very different than two years ago.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.