The funny thing about sports is that they make perfect sense, right up until the moment they don’t. The Cleveland Cavaliers looked absolutely dominant for the last two rounds of the playoffs, ripped through the Raptors and decimated the Celtics for the first two games in Boston. Then, bizarrely, with Isaiah Thomas hurt, the Celtics went in to Cleveland and won Game Three in one of the largest statistical upsets in the history of the NBA Playoffs. They looked like they could repeat the insanity for three quarters on Tuesday before Kyrie went off and led the Cavaliers to the victory and the 3-1 lead.
Tonight, Boston seems to have some decent momentum and home court advantage. Of course, they had home court advantage in the first two games and lost by a combined 61 points. WITH their best player still in uniform.
So, will going home provide the edge Boston needs to make this series at least semi-interesting? Or will Cleveland drive the final stake through the heart of the Celtics and send us into the long silent week of waiting for the NBA Finals?
Today’s NBA Pick:
Eastern Conference Finals – Game Five (Cavaliers lead 3-1)
Cleveland Cavaliers -11 at Boston Celtics
Maybe there is something to this “Isaiah was a bad matchup with the Cavs” theory… it seems to crazy to think a team could be BETTER without their clearly BEST player and legitimate MVP Candidate. But the two game sample size is difficult to ignore. Boston has defended significantly better and has gotten diverse offense and excellent energy.
That said, to beat Cleveland you have to score points. And it will be tough for them to score 105 to 115 points tonight without their best scorer. They got exceptional shooting, especially in Game Three, and that is not likely to exactly replicate. They will be more confident at home tonight after two strong showings in Cleveland, and while I’d be surprised if they won, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for them to at least compete. If you throw Game Two out of the mix, they haven’t been completely overwhelmed in this series. Sure, they LOST, no disputing that, but they at least competed in most of Game One and Game Three.
When you are getting eleven points and the home team trying to stave off elimination, “competing” is enough to get under the number and cover. I’ll play the points tonight and take the home underdog.
Today’s NBA Pick: BOSTON CELTICS +11