Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers Game Preview
Boston took a loss to Utah on Tuesday, doing everything they could, but they were unable to close the game. Marcus Smart was missing shots left and right, including a three that could have tied the game with just over a minute remaining. On the bright side, Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III both looked great and bring momentum into this one.
Cleveland took a loss to the Heat, but it was clearly their best effort in the three games played since the All-Star break. Cedi Osman dished out seven assists. Darius Garland looked much better than he did against the Hawks. On the downside, though, Dylan Windler only logged five minutes and did not get off the bench in the second half. Not a good day for CLE rookies.
ODDS: The Celtics are a -9 favorite.
Celtics Seeking Quick Bounce Back
With both teams coming off a loss less than 24 hours ago, this contest provides an opportunity to bounce back quickly. Boston would like a lot of their possessions back; there’s no question about that. Utah’s ability to heat up from three in timely moments was the biggest reason for their victory over Boston. The Celtics fell to 20-19 in the ever-crowded East.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the ones who determine whether or not the Celts have a chance to win each game. The role players make sure they do what they do, and then the stars need to shine in crunch time. One thing they didn’t do last night was demand the ball. No disrespect to Marcus Smart, who has made some big shots in his career, but he shouldn’t have had the attempts he did in the final few minutes.
The Celtics scored 141 against the Cavs when they first met on January 24th.
Cavs Trying to Stop Skid
The four-game winning streak seems to be but a memory, now. Cleveland has lost four games in a row, putting them back in an unfortunately familiar position at ten games under .500. It has been a weird year for the team, but this skid has come at an inopportune time. The playoffs are probably an unattainable goal.
The Cavs are pretty much as healthy now as they can hope to be, sans Kevin Love. It doesn’t seem there will be a lot more of Kev in Cleveland. Larry Nance Jr. has looked good upon his return to the lineup. But the three-point shot continues to be a problem. The team was 10-35 from a distance against the Heat, while Miami was making it rain all night.
The team will need Collin Sexton to score 30+ if they want to have a shot at the win tonight. When he goes over 30, the team is nearly unbeatable in the last few months.
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