Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 2 Preview
Where: TD Garden, Boston
When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 8:30 PM ET
Line: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics – view all NBA lines
TV Broadcast: TNT
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Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland’s march towards the NBA Finals took another step closer after mauling the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, 117-104. LeBron James was a one-man wrecking crew and a walking mismatch for the Celtics, as he scored almost at will, finishing with 38 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field.
It’s reasonable to expect that LeBron will play like this throughout the series. He’s been at this state since the start of the playoffs in which he is averaging 34.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. He is also shooting 55.7 percent because there has yet to be someone from the other side able to check him. Boston tried to cover him with several defenders but LeBron turned them all into cannon fodders.
Kevin Love complemented LeBron’s play with a superb performance of his own, making 32 points with six threes. Love and Tristan Thompson provided the inside-outside frontline threat that’s valuable for the Cavs’ offense that likes to stretch the floor, minimizing the impact of Boston’s big men on defense. Thompson had 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Kyrie Irving only had 11 points but his production wasn’t much needed with LeBron and Love pounding the Celtics by themselves.
Irving averaged 25.5 points on 52.8% shooting in four regular season games against the Celtics so his breakout game in this series is on the horizon.
Betting on the Boston Celtics
The hype of Kelly Olynyk being the second coming of Larry Bird can now die silently. Olynyk, after scoring 26 the previous game returned to being Kelly Olynyk and scored two points against the Cavs. Not that the Gonzaga product was expected to churn out another improbable performance but his no-show was the same story for his other and more important teammates.
A couple of key players didn’t show up for the Celtics. Isaiah Thomas did score 17 points, but he had a slow start and if the Celtics are to take down Cleveland, he has to find his rhythm early and be consistent all throughout. The same with Al Horford, who looked lost on both ends of the floor, finishing with 11 points.
Thomas and Horford had not been in a conference finals game before and they still have Game 2 to bounce back from those underwhelming outputs.
Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder carried the fight for Boston despite the ongoing annihilation by James and company. The two players had 21 points each. Sustaining their performances and the improvements of Thomas and Horford would be critical for the Celtics in Game 2.
Cleveland wins, 112-101..
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