Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 Preview
Where: TD Garden, Boston
When: Thursday, May 25, 2017, 8:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TNT
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Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers (-540)
Call it Kyrie-diculous, call it Kyrie-nsane, call it whatever you want. Kyrie Irving deserved all the praises after a sublime Game 4 performance that helped propelled the Cavs to a 112-99 win.
Irving scored a playoff career-high 42 points with four threes, doing most of the damage when LeBron James was sitting on the bench for an extended time due to foul trouble. Despite fewer minutes than usual, James scored 34 points, a relieving back-to-normal performance from the four-time MVP after a subpar 11-point output in Game 3.
Boston can’t stay with the Cavs throughout a contest when Irving and James are locked in. Irving is averaging 26.3 points on an incredible 62.7 percent shooting in the conference finals. As for James, has posted 28.3 points, 6.0 boards, and 6.5 assists in the past three games.
Cleveland has played its best basketball in this series at TD Garden so a return to Celtics’ house could also mean a return to best form again. The Cavs must be able to dominate the inside game against Boston’s repeatedly abused frontcourt. Cleveland scored 28 points in the paint in Game 4, 24 more than what the Celtics had in the shaded area.
Cleveland is 3-0 SU and ATS in its last three games in Boston.
Betting on the Boston Celtics (+420)
The last time Boston fans saw their team in person, the Celtics were swimming in their own blood no thanks to the merciless beatdown LeBron James and company had served them back in Game 2, a 130-86 Cleveland victory.
But after stealing a win on the road in Game 3 and a relatively much better performance in Game 4 than in the first two games of the series, the Celtics have reason to believe they can avert another massacre and prolong their existence this season.
Avery Bradley led the Celtics in scoring in Game 3, finishing with 19 points, though on 7-for-19 shooting from the floor. Marcus Smart went back to earth after a 27-point explosion in Game 3 with just eight points the following contest. Boston’s offense is missing it’s alpha male in Isaiah Thomas so it’s necessary for guys like Bradley and Smart to have a solid offensive showings.
If anything, there’s better mall movement and more motion off the ball since Thomas has been declared out for the season. Per NBA.com’s advanced stats, the Celtics are passing the ball 343.5 times per game in the last two games. In the first two games of the series (with Thomas active), the Celtics are only moving the ball just 297.0 per game.
Boston is 7-1 in its last eight games in which it was the underdog by at least eight points.
Cleveland (-10) sends the Celtics to vacation with a 112-106 win.
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