We notched an easy NBA winner last night as the Cavaliers handled their business at home and laid waste to the miserable Magic. Tonight, things get a lot more real for the Cavs as they have to turn and burn up to Boston to face the Celtics in a game that SHOULD determine home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. A lot of people have been doubting the Cavs – and for fair reason, their play has certainly warranted some questioning. But Vegas is far less emotional than most fans. They remain steady and married to MOST LIKELY OUTCOMES when establishing lines. And at the end of the day, LeBron in the Finals fits that bill. They are still the overwhelming Vegas favorite to win the East, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game.
Meanwhile, welcome home Lance Stevenson! The once-again Pacer made a splashy return to hi most famous former destination in true ear-blowing fashion, sparking a near end of the game brawl by taking a shot late in a blowout win over Toronto when all normal, sane players simply dribble out the clock. In Lance’s (and JaVale McGee) defense, NBA guys are starting to get a little “MLB unwritten rules prissy” these days, but there was no denying it was a clown move by Lance.
And you know what? It might be exactly what the floundering Pacers need…
Today’s NBA Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics -4
I’m fully on board with the “bored” theory when it comes to the Cavaliers struggles, especially defensively. I’ve seen all the stats about how no team worse than 19th
in defensive efficiency has ever made the Finals, about how they are last in the NBA in transition defense, and have seen the visual evidence that the Cavaliers are no where NEAR a Championship-level team right now.
All true. But also, I’ll go on the record NOW and say, irrelevant.
LEBRON JAMES OWNS THE EAST. Yup. That simple. They are not giving up that stranglehold to a a 5’8’’ point guard and a bunch of B-level players. If that sounds harsh, it is admittedly overly critical of the Celtics who are a very good team. But they just don’t have the personnel to beat the Cavs in a seven game series.
I think Cleveland despite the short rest and being on the road delivers a LOUD message tonight and quiets a lot of the talk about their vulnerability by reclaiming the top seed in the East – not that they need it – but it certainly isn’t bad to have in one’s hip pocket…
Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley are listed as “likely”, Tristan Thompson is “doubtful” otherwise, there is no evidence of any NBA nonsense or hijnx – we SHOULD get a real game between the two best teams in the east with a lot at stake. If the stakes are high, I’ll take The King. I can get ‘Bron AND four points??
Today’s NBA Pick: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS +4