Counterpoint: Cleveland Counters & Wins Game 2 in Beantown

cavs celtics counter

Doug Upstone

Monday, May 14, 2018 4:02 PM UTC

Monday, May. 14, 2018 4:02 PM UTC

The Cleveland Cavaliers found out first hand the Boston Celtics are not the Raptors and so did fellow SBR writer Swinging Johnson. Game 2 will be about adjustments, so let's see what the Cavs and Johnson bring.

Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1) at Boston Celtics (1-0)Free NBA Pick: CavsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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For the third time in the playoffs, Cleveland was destroyed in the opening quarter and hammered 108-83 in a Game 1 in Boston in which they were a participant in name only. By halftime, Cavs fans were going on with their lives and not happy about it (similar to Swinging Johnson's mood), because yard work and chores were supposed to wait.

Despite the enormous blowout, oddsmakers showed a steady hand and the initial NBA odds for Tuesday's Game 2 opened with Cleveland at -1 or a pick'em at most sportsbooks, with Boston later listed as a single-digit favorite. So what do the Cavaliers and do and do they have a chance to even up the series before three days off and a home game?

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Cleveland Won't Panic, but Lue Has to Make Adjustments

As LeBron James said after a Game 1 loss at home to Indiana by 18 in the first round, "I've done down in The Finals to Golden State 3-1, I'm not about to panic." If preparation and having your team more ready to play is outcoaching the other guy, then Brad Stevens did just that to Cleveland's Tyronn Lue. It was surgical in nature how the Celtics carved up the Cavs.

But I wouldn't buy into the stories written about Boston using multiple defenders and making James play more defense is why the C's have a perceived advantage. James will come out like a man possessed in Game 2 and whatever Boston thought they were doing well will be disrupted.

Lue has a little Phil Jackson in him and said things like his team was not "mentally sharp" and allowing 60 Celtics points in the paint is "way too many." That is his way of using the media to test their character and there will be more subtle hints before Game 2. Lue will be able to get across rather easily that effort and energy are priority one, because, from the opening tap, Stevens' guys just wanted it more.

On defense, Boston can create matchup problems with their size and versatility; however, if Cleveland is more active in the passing lanes, they will generate more tips and turnovers which they can turn into points.

What To Expect?

As good as the Celtics defense is, they are not going to hold the Cavaliers to 4-for-26 from behind the arc again. If Cleveland just makes their usual dozen treys in Game 2, that is a 24-point improvement, making the oddsmakers' number basically correct.

Swinging Johnson attempted to rile me by saying I have Justin Beiber poster on my wall, but anyone that knows me at all understands I like real talent like Bruno Mars in that genre. And SJ should be careful or I will release the hilarious video of him watching Game 1 of this series from the pen camera I had carefully placed near his couch (you should see the footage after Cavs cut the deficit from 28 to 14 and Celtics score seven straight points in a minute: priceless).

For NBA picks in Game 2, Cleveland brings their "A game" and wins this contest by four as Johnson swings and misses again.

Read Why Swinging Doesn't "Love" Cavs' Chances In Game 2
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