Point: Up 2-0, Celtics Getting No Respect for Game 3 at Cavaliers

celtics cavs point

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:00 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 17, 2018 5:00 PM UTC

The Celtics take a 2-0 series lead into Cleveland on Saturday night and will look to put a stranglehold on the Cavaliers. Let’s determine the right team to back in this Game 3 showdown.

Celtics (65-31 SU, 59-33-4 ATS) vs. Cavaliers (58-37 SU, 36-57-2 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +6½Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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What’s Trending
  • Boston is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games playing on three or more days of rest.
  • Boston is 23-7-1 ATS in their last 31 games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points.
  • Boston is 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win.
  • Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up loss.
  • Cleveland is 0-6 ATS in their last six games playing on three or more days of rest.
  • Cleveland is 12-26 ATS in their last 38 games following an ATS loss.

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We're 1-4 on the road this postseason, but that hasn't swayed our confidence at all. #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/tIp1Nd8fhg

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 17, 2018
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It was a foregone conclusion that LeBron James would light up the scoreboard on Tuesday night after struggling in Game 1 with just 15 points in Cleveland’s loss to the Celtics. And of course, he came through with a monster 42-point performance, yet it still wasn’t enough as Boston rolled to a 107-94 victory and took a commanding 2-0 series lead. The venue shifts to Cleveland and the NBA odds board reveals that the Celtics, after winning the first two on their home court by an average of 19 points, have been installed by all the majors as 6½-point road underdogs. The obvious implication is that LeBron will finally get a little support from his supporting cast and hand the Green a substantial loss.

As many readers know, SBR’s Doug Upstone and I have been assigned a point/counterpoint on this series, as well as the battle between the Rockets and Warriors in the West. Doug had a double dose of Game 2 misery when he selected the Cavaliers and Warriors, while I led my readers to the Chosen Land with a pair of ATS and outright winners. But I will be the bigger person and allow my sterling selections to speak for themselves while Doug makes excuses like McDonald’s makes hamburgers. Once again, we are on opposite sides of the fence even though it makes absolutely no sense that the soaring Celtics are 6½-point road dogs to the catatonic Cavaliers.

Boston had five starters and one reserve in double digits on Tuesday night while LeBron had only Kevin Love to provide any real offensive support. Sure, Kyle Korver had 11 off the bench but JR Smith laid a goose egg in his 27 minutes of action and backcourt mate George Hill had only three lonely points in 33 minutes of action. The series has manifested into exactly what I wrote it would be and that is a one-man-wrecking-crew in LeBron James against a team of burgeoning superstars in Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown bolstered by the defensive wizardry of Marcus Smart and the muscle provided by Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes. Veteran All-Star center Al Horford has averaged 17.5 points over the first two contests of this Eastern Conference Finals battle and came alive on the boards with 10 rebounds to help the Celtics overcome LeBron’s titanic performance.

The Celtics not only outscored the Cavaliers in Game 2 but they flexed their muscles, snarled, growled, and pushed them around throughout. Cleveland coach Tyrone Lue said as much in a post-game presser but just because Cleveland realizes it, are they capable of doing anything about it? LeBron certainly is but I’m not sure about the rest of his team. How anyone in his right mind can ignore a 6½-point head start with the better team is anyone’s guess, but check out Doug’s analysis and see if you can glean anything that would make you back the Cavs in your NBA picks on Saturday night. Oh, check that, I said “right mind,” so maybe you might want to ignore Mr. Upstone’s advice and stick with your old buddy Swinger.

What Possible Reason Could Doug Have For Backing Cavs?
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