Point: Celtics Refuse to Bend their Knees to the King in Game 2

celtics cavs point

Swinging Johnson

Monday, May 14, 2018 3:58 PM UTC

Monday, May. 14, 2018 3:58 PM UTC

The Celtics rolled to a 108-83 opening game victory over the visiting Cavaliers and must now maintain home-court advantage Tuesday night. Let’s check out the NBA odds board and see if Boston is worth backing again.

Cavaliers (58-36 SU, 36-56-2 ATS) at Celtics (64-31 SU, 58-33-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics PickBest Line Offered: BetPhoenix

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3468852, "sportsbooksIds":[1389,1096,93,169,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

  • Boston is 14-2 ATS in their last 16 home games.
  • Boston is 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.
  • Boston is 4-1 ATS in their last five Tuesday games.
  • Cleveland is 12-25 ATS in their last 37 games following an ATS loss.
  • Cleveland is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
  • Cleveland is 11-38-2 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.

There are plenty of stars on both sides of the court in this Eastern Conference Finals matchup but none bigger than Cleveland’s legendary top gun. Yet, it was an unlikely hero who emerged to lead the Celtics to Game 1 glory, and Marcus Morris filled that role admirably as the antidote to the most prolific player in the game today, and perhaps in the league’s history, LeBron James. Morris shadowed James throughout and when the dust settled, the four-time MVP was rendered merely mortal with a stat line that included a playoff low of 15 points and a postseason high of seven turnovers while Morris countered with 21 points and 10 rebounds. It was because of that disparity, in addition to Boston’s 18 point first-quarter lead, that buried the Cavs in the series opener.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Mook backed up the talk yesterday 💪☘️ pic.twitter.com/iTFmcXOTy5

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 14, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

Cleveland would go on to miss their first 14 shots from beyond the arc and shot a brutal 32 percent from the field. The only other contributor in the Cavaliers’ losing effort came from Kevin Love, who bucketed 17 points and grabbed eight boards to end the night. Once again, the Celtics are proving that ball distribution and team basketball can overcome one titanic player as Boston had four of their five players in double digits with Jaylen Brown setting the pace with 23 points, while rookie Jayson Tatum continues to play like a grizzled veteran with 16 points and a +27 in his team-high 37 minutes of action.

Game 2 is looming and there is no doubt that LeBron will be champing at the bit to atone for his pedestrian Game 1 performance. My colleague Doug Upstone and I discussed the game and he wondered aloud what adjustments Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue would make Tuesday night. My response was that Lue has been relegated to a well-dressed patron with the best seat in the house and would say a Hail Mary as opposed to the Our Father he chanted in Game 1. The only adjustment that Cleveland needs is for LeBron to be LeBron because even Love is no longer the Robin to his Batman. Cleveland’s success resides in one player while Boston has more than one cylinder on which to click.

A quick check of the NBA odds board reveals that Boston is actually favored at most of the best online sportsbooks in the industry, but one of those majors, BetPhoenix, is dealing the game at a pick. The Cavaliers are no longer the juggernaut they once were after dealing Kyrie Irving and getting nothing even close to replacing him. Isaiah Thomas was supposed to be that vital cog in the Cleveland lineup but his stint in the “216” was unhappy and short-lived.

Although my compatriot Doug is leaning towards Cleveland to get well off of a resurgent LeBron, I am inclined to disagree as Boston is 14-2 against the number in their last 16 home games and I see that trend continuing, which is why we are including the Shamrocks in our NBA picks in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

Read Why Doug Upstone Is A Fan Of Bruno Mars ... And A Cavs Game 2 Cover
comment here