Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers are through the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. Scoring a ticket to the Eastern Conference semifinals was not a walk in the park for the Cavs, though, as they had to deal with the Orlando Magic in the most games possible. It’s not about to get any easier for Cleveland as well, as it is about to take on the top seed in the East in the form of the Boston Celtics, who demolished the Miami Heat in just five games.

In any case, Cavs fans seem to want that tough matchup versus the Celtics. They let everyone know about that by chanting “We want Boston [Celtics]” during Game 7 of the Orlando series at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Celtics are a much different animal than Orlando that, again, just took the Cavs to seven games. Boston has a loaded roster that features the likes of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick White. The Celtics also have big man Kristaps Porzingis, though, the Latvian center doesn’t seem like he’s ready to give it a go again on the court after suffering a lower-body injury in the first round versus the Heat. In any case, the Celtics are expected to be a tough matchup for Cleveland.

It is also worth remembering that Heat fans also wished for a Celtics matchup when Miami defeated the Chicago Bulls in the Play-in Tournament. Everyone knows what happened in the Celtics-Heat series. However, Cleveland is also a different opponent for the Celtics, one that is probably better equipped than the Heat, who did not have both Terry Rozier and Jimmy Butler in the first round due to injuries yet somehow found a way to steal a win and avoid a sweep.

Cavs avoid early vacation after beating Magic

Apr 12, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After wasting Mitchell’s incredible 50-point performance in Game 6’s 103-96 road loss to Orlando, the Cavs made sure that it was still them who would come out on top of the series with a 106-94 Game 7 win at home on Sunday. But winning the first round is just part of the story that Mitchell and the Cavs want to talk about once the 2023-24 NBA season is over.

“I don’t mean this disrespectful, but it doesn’t really mean much,” Mitchell opened up following the series-clinching win against the Magic, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). “We didn’t come in just to win the first round. We accomplished one goal, now we have to do it again. That’s the mindset.”

In Game 7, Mitchell carried the Cavs’ offense again, as he racked up 39 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists plus a steal and a block in 45 minutes of action. He shot just 11/27 from the field but generated plenty of tries at the free-throw line, going 15/17 on his freebies. Darius Garland went just 3/13 from the field for 12 points, but he’s got a chance to rebound from that performance with a better one in Game 1 versus the Celtics.

Through seven games versus the Magic, Mitchell led the Cavs with 28.7 points on 45.9 percent shooting from the floor. He’s going to need more help in the second round, so hopefully, for Cleveland, Jarrett Allen will be ready for Game 1 versus Boston. Allen has missed the last three Cavaliers games because of a bruised rib.

Game 1 of the Cavs vs Celtics series is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at TD Garden in Boston.