Are we going to see the end of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight?
I have to be honest and admit that I was a little bit worried about my pick last time. As the Cavs went into halftime down by 10 points, I thought that I may have jumped the gun in predicting the Celtics not to win again. Cleveland struggled. LeBron was in foul trouble, and JR Smith couldn’t make a shot to save his life. Thanks to a spectacular third quarter from Kyrie Irving and a solid fourth quarter from LeBron to seal the deal, Cleveland moved one step closer to the Finals.
That being said, this Boston squad pulled together since the loss of point guard Isaiah Thomas. Though it’s still doubtful that they’ll pull off a comeback in this series, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they’ll be able to get at least one more win—especially considering the next game is at Boston. Here’s how that game shapes up tonight.
After their abysmal performance in the first two games of this series, many pundits wrote Boston off. I know I did. There was no reason to think the Celtics would go this far. The Cavs would wrap things up in Cleveland, and the Celtics would be lucky to bring any of the remaining games within ten points. But they figured it out and managed a comeback victory on Sunday. Say what you will about LeBron’s poor performance in Game 3, but you have to give credit to the Celtics for shutting him down and taking advantage of their opponent’s weakness on the road.
But taking the series back to Boston only means that they’ll lose the series in Boston—most likely Game 5.
As I said the other day, LeBron James isn’t going to play two poor games. He bounced back in Game 4 and dropped 34 points, and I expect a similar performance in Game 5. Also, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have played better and better as the series progresses. Love grabbed a playoff-career high in rebounds and Kyrie put up a career high in points in Game 5. Both recognize the importance of closing out this series and getting adequate rest before they take on the Warriors. Jonas Jerebko can try to play mind games all he wants with the Cavs, but his efforts will prove to be fruitless. Marcus Smart can play his best game, but he’ll still be outmatched. The Cavs have the advantage and won’t shy away from the challenge.
Cavs win, 108-99.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers