The NBA season gets underway this week. After a shocking off-season that saw so many big names move to new teams, opening night of the 2017-18 campaign begins with a juicy rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Final between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Only the personnel will look quite different this year.

The two teams swapped starting point guards in the off-season, with Kyrie Irving heading to Beantown in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and a first-round pick in 2018. And even though the Celtics actually finished as the No. 1 seed in the East last season, everyone still assumes the Cavs and King James will reign supreme until proven otherwise.

During media availability on Monday, Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was asked about the rivalry carrying over to the new season, and whether he considered the Celtics (who also added Gordan Hayward through free agency) a legitimate threat to Cleveland’s throne at the top of the East.

Seems like a bold statement from Smith, considering the firepower that Boston added compared to the fact that Thomas is likely to miss a large chunk of the season as he recovers from injury. To be fair, Smith contextualized his comments by saying that adding Hayward’s offense while losing Avery Bradley’s defense was “a wash” in his eyes (Bradley was traded to the Pistons to clear cap space for the Hayward signing).

Smith also let it slip that LeBron would be in the lineup on Tuesday night, tossing aside speculation that he might sit the first game or two of the season to nurse a slight ankle injury.

“Oh, he’s gonna go,” Smith remarked, when asked whether James was healthy enough to play.