Editorial by Graydon Fox
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On Tuesday, May 15th, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be on the road to take on the Boston Celtics in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston has a (1-0) series advantage.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Cavaliers 104.2 – Celtics 103.8 with an over/under of 208.0.
Statistical Breakdown (2017-18 season):
Points per game: Cavaliers 110.9 (5th) > Celtics 103.9 (20th)
Points allowed per game: Celtics 100.2 (3rd) > Cavaliers 109.9 (26th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Cavaliers 47.6% (5th) > Celtics 45.0% (21st)
Three Point Percentage: Celtics 37.8% (2nd) > Cavaliers 37.2% (6th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Celtics 43.9% (2nd) > Cavaliers 47.4% (28th)
Turnovers committed per game: Celtics 13.3 (12th) = Cavaliers 13.3 (12th)
Turnovers forced per game: Celtics 13.4 (21st) > Cavaliers 12.9 (27th)
Rebounds per game: Celtics 44.5 (7th) > Cavaliers 42.1 (23rd)
Assists per game: Cavaliers 23.4 (11th) > Celtics 22.5 (20th)
The Celtics continue to defy the critics and have a (1-0) series advantage after blowing out the Cavaliers 108-83. The Celtics have been phenomenal at home boasting a perfect (8-0) record this postseason. Boston shot 51% from the floor, racked up 27 assists, and outrebounded the Cavaliers 54-47. Jalen Brown was sensational on both ends of the floor scoring 23 points on 9-16 from the field and grabbing 8 rebounds. Marcus Morris played excellent defense on Lebron James and had a double-double (21 points and 10 rebounds). Al Horford and 20 points on 8-10 shooting while Jayson Tatum added 16 of his own. The Celtics played suffocating defense for the entire game and this was a resounding win from the start. In the victory. In the playoffs, the Celtics are averaging 104.4 points per game (8th) and allowing 101.0 (3rd).
Cleveland finds themselves in a (0-1) hole after a completely dismal performance where they played with no energy. The Cavaliers shot an embarrassing 36% from the floor and 15% from three-point range. Cleveland was outscored 60-38 in the paint which was the major deciding factor in the final outcome. Kevin Love led the way with 17 points on 5-14 shooting and 8 rebounds. Lebron James had an uncharacteristically bad performance with 15 points on 5-16 from the field, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, and 7 turnovers. George Hill, J.R. Smith, and Kyle Korver were a complete non-factor totaling 14 points. The Cavaliers played with no physicality so expect Ty Lue to insert Tristan Thompson into the starting lineup to rebound and defend the rim. Cleveland allowed their poor shooting to affect their defense which has been strong for the majority of the playoffs. This postseason, the Cavaliers are averaging 101.8 points per game (12th) and allowing 102.5 (6th).
The Celtics clearly looked like the superior team in every aspect of the game on Sunday. Even without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Boston showed they are still a force to be reckoned with. The Cavaliers came out completely flat in game one and should respond with a better shooting performance in game two. Lebron James played his worst postseason game since returning to Cleveland and I anticipate he will to bounce back with a monster performance. I’m expecting a much closer game on Tuesday and I believe the Cavaliers will be heading home with the series split (1-1).
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