Eastern Conference Finals 2018: Cavaliers vs Celtics Game 2 Predictions

The C’s stomped on the Cavaliers in Game 1. Even the mighty LeBron seemed squeamish at the end of the game. Who wouldn’t? But, how will Game 2 play out? Read on for the Cavaliers vs Celtics 2018 predictions.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics

Betting on the Celtics

From the get-go, the Celtics started to pummel the Cavs with shots. By halftime, they already had a 26-point lead.

And it was only a prelude of what was to come.

The 108-83 final score is probably the reason why the line is at Even Money.

The Celtics made clear they’re here to win, no matter which team they play.

Game 1 almost made it seem like they were holding out on everyone. That it really didn’t matter that some of their fundamental players are injured and they were only playing possum. 

They’ll now be shooting for their 10th straight home win, which is impressive. But, they’ll have to tie LeBron down as they did in Game 1.

That's easier said than done; LeBron is not one to quietly sit down and leave it at that.

You have to give it to the players though, they’ve come together as a team no matter the adversity in front of them.

Also, you can’t deny what Coach Brad Stevens is doing in games. He’s shown team after team what a masterful tactician he is with his calls.

In Game 1, Stevens started Marcus Morris in the lineup. He responded with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Brown had 23 points, in fact, the Celtics were one basket shy of having all five starters in double-figures.

But, even if everything came together in the first game, the Celtics will have to play better tonight.

Even so, it's perhaps their most effective weapon. Without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the opportunity for other players to step up was clear for the taking. And, the call was answered.

Boston doesn’t rely on one or two players, as Cleveland does with James and Kevin Love. And it worked to their advantage in Game 1; but, it may not in tonight's game. .

Tonight, they’ll have to expect the heavyweight punch that LeBron has in store for them. And it can be a wallop.

Betting on the Cavaliers  

"I have zero level of concern at this stage," James said after the Celtics blew the Cavs out in the first game.

If there’s anyone that has the confidence to say this, it’s LeBron. He’s well aware that one game does not win the series.

Yes, it was uncharacteristic of James to have such an off night. LeBron had 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with nine assists, seven rebounds and seven turnovers in perhaps his worst playoff showing this season.

The Cav’s reliance on James is undisputed. It’s a vulnerability that’s always present in such circumstances.

But, believing this to sweep the full team’s responsibility in the loss is wrong as JR Smith was quick to recognize. "We've got to help 'Bron," JR Smith said after the opener. "We can't just expect him to do everything. As role players, we've got to play our role."

The Cavaliers, all of them, had an off-night. The C’s lucky charms got the best of them.

Cleveland will bounce back, without a question. They will adjust, that’s a part of what a series is about. It’s these game-to-game adjustments that win titles and championship.

And LeBron, again, knows a thing or two about winning championships. So might coach Tyronn Lue.

Game 1 was a lesson for Lue. What worked against the Raptors does not for the Celtics. And getting outscored 60-38 in the paint is a clear signal of it.

Which is why Lue gave some indication he might start center Tristan Thompson in Game 2. Thompson, as it seems, is the perfect answer for Al Horford, a big part of why the Celtics dominated in the paint.

Though the switch might disrupt the lineup that has served LeBron’s best performances as of late (small-ball lineup surrounded by shooters), it might gain an advantage on offensive rebounding where Thompson is scooping up double-shot opportunities for LeBron.

Thompson size and physicality can also force the Celtics to bring out Baynes next to Horford in the frontcourt. Something which hasn’t been too favorable for the Celtics this season.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Betting Trends 

  • Cleveland is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games
  • Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland's last 7 games
  • Boston is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Boston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 12 of Boston's last 17 games

Game Prediction: There’s a lot on the line with how this game plays out. If the Cavaliers make adjustments and lose, Celtics coach Brad Stevens might have them figured out. But, if Cleveland, and in particular LeBron James, has one of his legendary performances, it’s hard to believe the Celtics can win the series.

Cleveland’s knack for bouncing back after a loss is undisputed; in the Cavs’ past eight when losing their previous game, they’re 7-1 SU.

Never underestimate LeBron based on one game, especially under these circumstances. I’m siding with the Cavaliers.

Pick: Cavaliers EV 

 
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