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Old 19-05-17, 17:46   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default Friday -- Cavs at Celtics...

NBA Preview: The Celtics need to find a way to derail LeBron James and the Cavaliers to have any chance of making this a competitive series.

#2 Cleveland Cavaliers (60-31) at #1 Boston Celtics (61-35), Friday, 8:30 p.m. EST

Line: Cavaliers -5.5. Total 218.5.

Series: Cavaliers lead 1-0.

Game 2 will probably be Bostonís best chance to win a game in this series.

That statement is not a knock on the talent level of the Celtics. Boston has a very good team. Many people picked the Wizards to knock the Celtics off in the conference semifinals. However, the Cavaliers and especially LeBron James are simply on another level.

Boston does not have anyone who can guard King James. Consequently, LeBron toyed with the Celtics defense at times. James messed around and scored 38 points, grabbed 9 boards and dished out 7 assists. He shot at least 50% from the field for the ninth straight playoff game, going 14-for-24 (58.3%).

Kevin Love was scorching hot from beyond the arc, especially in the third quarter for the Cavaliers. Love was 5-for-7 shooting three-pointers in the third quarter, while shooting 6-for-9 for the game from three-point land. Love finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds for the game.

Tristan Thompson was all over the court for the Cavs. He was all over the offensive glass, too, grabbing 6 offensive rebounds. Thompson was 7-for-7 from the field and scored 20 points. He was aggressive switching on the Boston pick-and-rolls. Thompson did not give any space to Bostonís Isaiah Thomas when he ended up guarding the Celtics point guard on switches.

Kyrie Irving had a pedestrian game for Cleveland with 11 points and 6 assists. However, Irving did not have to do much as he deferred to LeBron, Love and Thompson in Game 1.

For the Celtics, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley scored 21 points apiece. Crowder got hot from beyond the arc in the second half, going 4-of-5 from three-point land. Thomas only shot 7-for-19 for the game and finished with 17 points. He admitted after the game that he needs to shoot better.

Boston did shoot a lot better in the second half. The Celtics shot 25-for-43 from the field (58.1%) and 10-for-22 from three-point land (45.5%). However, the problem is that Boston was down 22 points going into the second half. When the Cavaliers were playing hard in the first half, the Celtics only shot 35.6% from the field and 12.5% from beyond the arc.

So did Boston do enough in the second half to warrant enough confidence from anyone to believe that they can beat Cleveland in Game 2 and even the series?

The Celtics know that if they lose Game 2, the series is over. Heck, they may collectively already know the series is over, but they are not going to admit it publicly. Boston will fight hard and give everything they have in Game 2 in hopes of making this a series. However, there is one big problem and he wears #23 in the dark blue uniforms.

How does Boston stop the freight train who is LeBron James? The Celtics had no answer for him in Game 1. Celtics Coach Brad Stevens will have to figure out a way to get the ball out of LeBronís hands and keep it out of his hands. King James has scored at least 32 points in every playoff game this postseason except for Game 2 against Indiana in the first round. James still had 25 points, 10 boards, 7 assists, 4 blocks and 4 steals, but he also had 8 turnovers in that game.

Coach Stevens may want to glance at the film from that game.

Normally, this would be a let-down situation for the Cavaliers after a dominant road win in Game 1. Most teams would ease their foot off the gas pedal in Game 2 because they have taken away home-court advantage from their opponent. However, Cleveland is now 9-0 this postseason and would love to match Golden State's 10-0 start. Therein lies the motivation for the Cavs to win Game 2. Cleveland wants to keep pace with the Warriors and that motivational factor may be just enough to overcome the nice bounce-back spot for the Celtics in Game 2 after getting trounced in Game 1.

My postseason record: 16-7 (+$745).

My pick:

No play tonight although I have a lean to the Cavaliers.

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Old 19-05-17, 22:56   #2
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Date: Friday 19.05.2017
Sport: Basketball
Start time: 3:30 am
Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers - Boston Celtics

pick: Cleveland -6.5 pts HC
Bookie: Bet365
Odds: 2.00
Stake: 5/10

The Cavaliers completely demoralized the Raptors team and fanbase in their first two games in Cleveland. DeMar DeRozan has offered $100 to anybody who can stop LeBron, though honestly I think he was sort of low-balling everyone. You can do better than that, DeMar. The Raptors, on the court, might not be able to do better than that, but if they***8217;re going to make this a series, not unlike last year, it***8217;ll have to start in Game 3. The Cavaliers destroyed the Celtics in Game 1, and the first quarter will tell us a lot about how the rest of this game and series will go. If the Celtics wilt quickly, then we can probably write off this series.

On the other hand, if they jump out to an early lead, we might have ourselves a series. Somehow, some way, the Boston Celtics will have to keep Tristan Thompson off of the offensive glass.

Tristan Thompson pulled down 26.1 percent of CLE misses while he was on the floor in Game 1. I'm not saying that Boston can completely keep Thompson away from offensive rebounds, but they have to do better than this. Kyrie Irving will probably not have another game with 11 points or less again this series. I know, bold. Irving let the Cavaliers offense flow naturally in Game 1, preferring to move the ball and pick his spots. My guess is that Brad Stevens will make some changes that will require the Cavs to get more from Irving and he will oblige.

LeBron James is a problem without a solution for the Celtics. Brad Stevens mentioned that they might have to go to the unpalatable solution of doubling James, but that's just what the Cavaliers want. It's fair to wonder if, after a tough shooting game, the Celts might just ask the Cavaliers shooters to beat them instead of James getting repeated wide open layups with little resistance on the way.

The Celtics have to shoot better from distance. They started 2-16 from three in the first game with a significant amount of wide open looks that the Cavaliers hard-trapping defense allowed. They have to can those or they've got no chance.

The Cavaliers are too good, too smart, too rested and too locked in for a Celtics team that hasn't had a ton of time to adjust. I expect The Cavaliers to win with something around 117-109. Good luck!

Last edited by Andrea_Pirlo; 19-05-17 at 23:06.
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Old 20-05-17, 10:19   #3
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Cleveland - Boston 130 - 86 FT WIN
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