Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) vs Boston Celtics (55-27)Date : 05/15/2018
Time : 8:30 PM
Location : TD Garden
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics
The 2 seed Boston Celtics are set to host game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden as they will take on the 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers before having to travel on the road for two games, the opening tip is set for 8:30 PM ET. The Boston Celtics smoked the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 1 of this series as Boston won at home 108-83.
Cleveland Cavaliers's Latest Performance :
LeBron Shut Down
The Cleveland Cavaliers earned back the title of the Eastern Conference Kings after sweeping the 1 seed Toronto Raptors in the 2nd round but that title has already been stripped after they got creamed on the road in game 1. The Cavaliers have been so good at giving LeBron some extra points as they had 3 other guys average in double digits through the first 2 rounds, but as we saw in game 1 of the ECF when LeBron doesn’t perform well the rest of the guys don’t either. LeBron was the center of the Celtics gameplan as LeBron scored a playoff low of only 15 points which is well below his playoff average of 34.3 PPG. LeBron was rattled on the offensive game as even though he was able to dish out 9 assists he almost matched that in the turnover department as he had 7. LeBron struggled and that was no secret but so did the rest of the Cavs as Kevin Love was the leading scorer with 17 points. Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, and George Hill have been so good at giving LeBron help, especially in the last round as they were scoring in double-digits consistently. The trio was only able to give the Cavs a combined 14 points in the game as they only shot 6 for 19 from the field and 2 for 10 from 3. One positive sight for the Cavaliers to take in game 2 is the production from some bench guys as the combination of Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Tristan Thompson, and Jeff Green gave the Cavaliers 35 points off the bench which accounted for 42% of the Cavaliers points. Even though the Cavaliers got shelled in game 1 I don’t think it is time to hit the panic button just yet as I trust LeBron James to give this team better games on both the offensive end and the defensive end.
Boston Celtics's Latest Performance :
Defense Leads The Way
The Boston Celtics came out in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals with their hair on fire as the critics said the young guys couldn’t hang with the big bad LeBron James, but the Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is one of the best young minds in the game and he proved it with his gameplan. The Celtics were able to get back to their roots which got them the second seed in the first place with that being lockdown defense. The Celtics were able to hold the high scoring Cavalier offense to only 83 points as they shot 15.4% from 3 point land. Marcus Morris was tasked with the objective of locking down one of the best basketball players of all time, and he didn’t disappoint as he forced the King to commit 7 turnovers as well as hold him to 15 points. The Celtics have been so good in the postseason in having an abundance of guys contribute on the scoring end which was once again proven monumental in this game as there were 3 guys with 20+ points. The Celtics leading scorer was 2016 first round pick Jaylen Brown who dropped 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds which are well above his playoff averages of 16.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG. The Celtics were able to win this game convincingly without two of their better players giving production as leading scorer Terry Rozier and energizer bunny Marcus Smart combined for only 17 points as the duo went a combined 8 for 22 from the field. The Celtics may not be able to hold LeBron to only 15 points every game but they can receive better production out of Rozier and Smart which should cancel out LeBron having big games.
How Cleveland Cavaliers & Boston Celtics Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Cleveland is 35-58-1 ATS, 21-26 ATS on the road.
Boston is 60-33-2 ATS, 30-17-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Boston entered the ECF as the #9 ranked scoring team as they outscored the #10 Cleveland Cavaliers offense by .6 PPG. (CLE- 103.5 PPG, BOS- 104.1 PPG).
Cleveland entered the ECF as the #4 ranked scoring defense as they held their opponents to .5 less PPG than the #6 Boston Celtics defense. (CLE- 102 PPG, BOS- 102.5 PPG).
Cleveland won the regular season series between these two teams, 2-1.
Boston leads the ECF after game 1.
Against The Spread Selection: Cleveland Cavaliers +1
My reason for the pick :
The Cleveland Cavaliers looked like they never played basketball in game 1 as they forgot how to shoot or defend, and that can also be said about the best player in today’s game. LeBron has been known all postseason as the go-to scorer who will take care of the ball and even though he struggled in both departments in game 1 you can never count James out as we have seen him pick up this team multiple times throughout the regular season and into the postseason. I expect the Cavaliers to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get more guys involved in the offense as I also don’t expect the guards to combine for only 14 points again. LeBron will turn his -32 plus/minus rating around in this game as he won’t only revamp his offensive game but give more effort on defense.
Betting trends for Cleveland Cavaliers:
- Cleveland is 11-23-1 ATS after a loss this season.
- The over is 31-23-1 after having 1 day of rest this season.
Betting trends for Boston Celtics:
- Boston is 10-3 ATS in playoff games this season.
- The over is 24-14 as the home favorite this season.