Counterpoint: Rested Cavs More Than Ready for Celtics in Game 1

kevin love celtics

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:27 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 10, 2018 4:27 PM UTC

The Cleveland Cavaliers will take their first step back to the NBA Finals when they tangle with the never-say-die Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. Let’s see which side is worth backing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sunday's Game 1: Cavaliers (58-35 SU, 36-55-2 ATS) at Celtics (63-31 SU, 57-33-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: CavsBest Line Offered: BetPhoenix
  • Boston is 1-2 ATS versus Cleveland this season.
  • Boston is 2-5 ATS in their last seven Conference Finals games.
  • Road team is 15-5-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings between these two clubs.
  • Cleveland is 15-7 ATS as an underdog this season.
  • Cleveland is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. NBA Atlantic.
  • Cleveland is 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games.

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#CavsCeltics 🔜
#WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/EO5NKCVoKo

— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 10, 2018
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The Celtics were honoring the recently retired Paul Pierce on Feb. 11, the last time they entertained the Cavaliers, and although the ceremony was wrought with nostalgia the outcome of the game was riddled with frustration for the Green Team. When the dust settled, the Cavaliers blew out their hosts to the tune of 129-99. Any and all who included the Cavs as five-point road dogs in their NBA picks had nothing to worry about after the third quarter as Cleveland had built a 21-point lead and the day was essentially done. Not surprisingly, LeBron James led all scorers with 24 points and Boston’s Kyrie Irving contributed 18 in the losing effort. As we all know, Irving is now out for the season and the responsibility of lighting it up from downtown now falls on the apt shoulders of Terry Rozier, who has filled in admirably for the Celtics’ All-Star.

Cleveland rebounded from a grueling seven-game series with the Pacers to douse the Toronto Raptors in four games. Two of those four contests were razor-thin but the other two were blowouts for the Cavs, and because of their sweep of the No. 1 seed in the East Cleveland will have had almost a week to prepare for their visit to Boston. Meanwhile, the Celtics had their own exhausting opening-round series, battling the Milwaukee Bucks to seven games and then went on to extinguish the 76ers in five, which ended Wednesday night in Boston’s 114-112 thrilling clincher at the Garden. Once again, Rozier embraced the spotlight with 17 points and six boards, but it was a pair of other highly-talented youngsters who helped bury the Sixers when Jayson Tatum bucketed a game-high 25 and Jaylen Brown added 24 points.

As we take a quick check of the NBA odds board, we see BetPhoenix hanging the visiting Cavaliers as one-point road chalk. I have to side with the Cavaliers in this one as they are ready to roll after their layoff, while the Celtics may still be collecting their breath after the arduous series against Philadelphia.

In addition, LeBron is a monster and Boston will use Marcus Morris to shadow and contain him, but Morris is not much of a scoring threat. Marcus Smart will also engage, but until I see this group of Celtics quell the King I’m not sure if I can back a team that will be without their star player in Irving. Without him, Boston won just one game in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland (which had Irving). My respected colleague Doug Upstone has a different take on the matter, but as of this moment we will agree to disagree on the outcome of this one.

Read Why Doug Upstone Thinks Swinging Is Full Of **** For Game 1 Result
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