Feb 17, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson before the 2023 NBA All Star celebrity game at Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Orlando Magic 106-94 in Game 7 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday, clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics.

And it didn’t take long for ESPN’s Richard Jefferson to offer a prediction on the upcoming matchup, as the former NBA swingman took to X (formerly Twitter) to call for a major upset.

“Cavs in 7,” Jefferson wrote.

While Jefferson didn’t offer much insight into his prediction, it’s worth noting that the Cavs have won four of their last seven matchups against the Celtics dating back to last season. And while Boston won two of its three head to head matchups against Cleveland this past season, the Cavs won the most recent showdown between the two teams, erasing a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Celtics 105-104 on March 5.

Nevertheless, Boston remains a heavy betting favorite to beat Cleveland in their second-round series, with DraftKings listing the Celtics as a -1200 favorite to win the series with the Cavs being a +800 underdog. That projects an implied 92.31 percent chance of Boston winning the series and advancing to what would be its fourth consecutive appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It’s also worth mentioning that Jefferson has his own personal connection to the series, having spent two seasons playing in Cleveland during his 17-year NBA career. The Arizona product was a fan favorite during his time with the Cavs and a key contributor to the team’s NBA championship-winning season in 2016.

At this point, it’s unclear whether Jefferson’s prediction was made with his head or his heart or if he was simply having some fun on social media following Cleveland’s series-clinching win on Sunday. In any event, it’s unlikely he’ll have much company in picking the Cavs to beat the Celtics, considering the latter’s favorite as such an overwhelming favorite in the series.

[Richard Jefferson on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.