Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game 4 Preview
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
When: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 8:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TNT
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Betting on the Boston Celtics
There wouldn’t be a sweep in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics made sure of that with an improbable 111-108 road win in Game 3, cutting the Cavs’ series deficit in half.
The absence of Isaiah Thomas didn’t matter for the Celtics, who had better ball movement and more importantly were more deadly from the outside, going 18-for-40 (45 percent) from deep. Marcus Smart accounted for seven of those treys, as he finished with a team-high 27 points. If he’s going to shoot this well, he’s going to be a problem for the Cavs and a big help for Boston’s offense that has to find ways to cover for Thomas’ numbers.
Avery Bradley, the de facto go-to-guy now for the Celtics, had 20 points with three triples. It’s unlikely Smart, an inconsistent shooter, will drop as many threes again, so others like Al Horford will have to churn out better productions. Horford is a disappointment so far this series, going just 15-for-28 from the field in three games.
Bench plays a key role for the Celtics, especially with Thomas out. Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynyk looked like a pair of Great White Hopes off the bench for Boston in Game 3, combining for 25 points with some timely hits during the crucial parts of the game. Boston fans have been spoiled enough and they’ll be expecting more from the tandem.
Boston is 7-3 in its last 10 road games.
Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers
You could make a case the Cavs lost Game 3 more than the Celtics won it. Cleveland allowed the Celtics to comeback from a 21-point hole, which happened at the same time LeBron James arguably probably had his worst playoff performance.
James scored just 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting from the field and had six turnovers. One off night shouldn’t eclipse the mammoth size numbers James is having so far in the playoffs, wherein he is putting up 32.2 points on 55.4 FG%, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. His no-show could just be chucked up as an aberration and James trucking Boston again like he did in the first two games of the series is reasonable to expect going forward.
Kevin Love was cooking in Game 3, scoring 28 points with seven three-pointers, while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Love is averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 threes made per game in the conference finals.
The Cavaliers are 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 games as favorites.
Cleveland (-14.5) wins, 121-101.
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