Boston Celtics (55-27) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32)Date : 05/19/2018
Time : 8:30 PM
Location : Quicken Loans Arena
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers
The 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers are happy to return home to Quicken Loans Arena for game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals as they dropped the first two games of the series against the 2 seed Boston Celtics, opening tip is set for 8:30 PM ET. Boston was able to come from behind in game 2 as they outscored the Cavaliers by 20 points in the 2nd half to win 107-94.
Boston Celtics's Latest Performance :
The Boston Celtics may be without their top two scorers but that has not phased the young C’s as they have found different ways to get their offense rolling and with Brad Stevens at the helm, the defense is as good as ever. The Celtics were a popular pick to be a first-round exit this postseason but that has become only motivation for the 2 seed Celtics as this team is on the verge of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. The reason behind the Celtics success can be accredited to everyone playing their role effectively and giving a respective amount of production. The difference between the Celtics and Cavaliers in game 2 was the fact that Boston had 6 guys score double-digits compared to the Cavaliers only have 3. Jaylen Brown has continued to make his case as one of the best young guards in our game as the 2016 first round pick had another good game as he dropped 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Marcus Smart also gave the Celtics a much-needed boost off the bench as the gritty guard dropped 11 points and 9 assists as well as had the best plus/minus on the team with a +21. Perhaps one thing that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is effort but if it did Marcus Smart would lead that category too as he is constantly seen diving for loose balls and going up for every rebound which showed in this game as he outworked every guard on the Cavaliers. The Celtics have continued to show different ways they can win as they added a come from behind win to their long list of impressive wins.
Cleveland Cavaliers's Latest Performance :
Where Is The Help?
The first round of the playoffs was not a breeze for the Cavaliers as they needed 7 games to beat a decent Indiana Pacers team but the reason behind the lengthy series was due to the lack of help LeBron received from his teammates. Ty Lue thought he was able to put that in the rearview mirror as his lineup gave him a lot more production last round as different role players were supplementing LeBron nicely which led to a 4 game sweep, but here we are again and the Cavaliers look reverted back to their opening round form. The story in game 1 was LeBron not doing enough as he only had 15 points with 7 turnovers, so what does the King do in game 2? He explodes for yet another triple-double as LeBron dropped 42 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists against one of the best defenses in the NBA. These numbers should typically result in a win but this 5/15 matchup went the opposite way as outside Kevin Love (22 points) the Cavaliers received 0 productions from their team especially in the starting backcourt. J.R. Smith and George Hill have been great role players over the course of their lengthy careers and although they showed flashes of support for LeBron throughout the postseason the duo went a combined 1 for 11 from the field with only 3 points. Turnovers were also once again a deciding factor for the Cavaliers as they turned the ball over 15 times, 6 of which came from LeBron James. The Cavaliers were dominant in the first half of game 2 because LeBron scored 21 in the first quarter and the turnovers were kept to a minimum.
How Boston Celtics & Cleveland Cavaliers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Boston is 61-33-2 ATS, 29-16 ATS on the road.
Cleveland is 35-59-1 ATS, 14-32-1 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, 2-0.
Against The Spread Selection: Cleveland Cavaliers -6.5
My reason for the pick :
The Cleveland Cavaliers got blown out in game 1 and I give all the credit in the world to the Celtics, and even though the Cavs lost game 2 they were winning most of the game without the production from anyone not named LeBron. The Cavaliers have shown throughout the playoffs that they have the ability to be great when they are all playing together and although another LeBron 40 point game isn’t impossible the Celtics will find ways to clamp him up but enter the rest of the Cavs. If you looked at the trends for the playoffs you should have assumed the Celtics would win game 1 and game 2 as they are undefeated at home but on the road, they aren’t too good. Cavaliers fans know they need to show up because this could be one of the last times they see LeBron James in a Cleveland jersey especially if they get swept by Boston. LeBron shows up with a 33 point game and an unlikely source like J.R. Smith or Jordan Clarkson give the Cavs a needed 3rd scorer.
Betting trends for Boston Celtics:
- Boston is 12-5 ATS with 2-3 days off this season.
- The over is 33-30-1 after a win this season.
Betting trends for Cleveland Cavaliers:
- Cleveland is 20-51-1 ATS as the favorite this season.
- The under is 8-5 in playoff games this season.