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Draymond Green on Cavs: ‘I want to annihilate them’ 05.26.17 at 12:56 pm ET
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When the Cavaliers ended the Celtics’ season on Thursday night with a 135-102 rout at TD Garden, it set them on an NBA Finals collision course with the Warriors for the third straight season.

Following an epic seven-game series last June and the now infamous blown 3-1 Golden State lead, tensions are high between the two league powerhouses.

In October, Draymond Green told NBA.com’s David Aldridge exactly what he wanted to do if the two teams met again.

“If Cleveland comes out of the East, I want to destroy Cleveland,” Green said. “No if, ands, and buts about it. But I also know that there are steps to get to that point. And if and when we get to that point, I want to annihilate them.”

Both teams have made it to that point, and if Green’s comments are any indication, it should prove to be a fiery, exciting series. The two split their two-game regular season series, but the rivalry dates back to 2015.

They first met during the 2015 NBA Finals, LeBron James’ first season back in Cleveland following his South Beach experience. The David Blatt-led Cavs were a shell of themselves, though, without Kevin Love for the entirety of the series and Kyrie Irving for the final five games. (Love was out due to a shoulder injury he suffered after getting tangled up with Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 of the first round.) The Warriors would go on to defeat the Cavs in six games, securing the franchise’s fourth championship.

Last year, the two met again – with a much healthier Cavs roster – and tensions flared in Game 4. Green hit LeBron in the groin, was suspended for Game 5 and Klay Thompson said postgame that, “I guess [LeBron’s] feelings got hurt.”

The Cavs went on to defeat the Warriors in seven games, and some believe LeBron trolled Golden State by wearing an Ultimate Warrior shirt to the team’s victory parade.

This year, analysts have been hard-pressed to predict what a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals would like, considering the lack of parity in both conferences – the Cavs were an Avery Bradley 3-pointer away from sweeping the first three rounds of the playoffs like Golden State – and the Warriors’ addition of Kevin Durant.

The Warriors won 67 games in the regular season to the Cavs’ 51, and while they owned a 36-5 regular season record at Oracle Arena, the Celtics have proven that they are beatable at home. On the strength of a 15-0 run, Isaiah Thomas’ 25 points and Kelly Olynyk’s 17 off the bench, the Celtics cruised to a 99-86 victory in Golden State on March 8.

It remains to be seen whether the addition of Durant will propel the Warriors to victory, or LeBron will secure a second-straight championship for his city. One thing is certain: the entire NBA world will be watching this rivalry unfold.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love
Top Stories of 2012, No. 7: Ray Allen leaves Celtics for South Beach 12.27.12 at 6:42 pm ET
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Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from the Celtics.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination

Heat owner Micky Arison first published the news of Ray Allen‘€™s departure from the Celtics on Twitter, signaling the official end of the Big Three era in Boston.

Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!

‘€” Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2012

Allen made the choice to head south to Miami for around half the annual salary the Celtics were offering. In Miami, Allen would have the chance to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while making a fresh start with a new team. Allen signed a three-year, $9.7 million deal in July.

Reports that Allen was unhappy in Boston began to surface. There was an apparent rift between Allen and mercurial point guard Rajon Rondo, and Allen was said to be unhappy with a lack of respect from management. A Yahoo! Sports report quoted a source as saying: “He felt he was getting respect [from the Heat] that he hadn’€™t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore. ‘€¦ The [Heat] presentation was incredible.”

Ainge had placed Allen on the trading block in February in hopes that the C’€™s could get a younger player. And a deal with the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo apparently was so close to being done that Rivers contacted Allen to let him know. That didn’t sit well with Allen.

Then Rivers inserted Avery Bradley, favoring his defensive tact over Allen’€™s 3-point shooting ability, into the starting lineup. Allen only started in the Eastern Conference finals because Bradley was out with a shoulder injury.

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Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Avery Bradley, Danny Ainge, doc rivers