Our Wednesday NBA playoffs preview highlights Game 2 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, with LeBron James looking to inspire the Cavs after they suffered a heavy series-opening loss.
10:30 (AEST), Wed 16th May @ TD Garden, Boston
History: Played 245: Celtics 145 V Cavaliers 100.
Last meeting: May 13, 2018: Celtics 108 d Cavaliers 83 at TD Garden.
Final Thoughts: The Boston Celtics have turned the NBA playoffs on their head courtesy of a 108-83 Game 1 thrashing of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The teams are even money to take out Game 2. But the Cavs came into the series as red-hot favourites to advance to a fourth straight NBA Finals, largely thanks to LeBron’s out-of-this-world form and a 4-0 sweep of the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.
The Celtics downed the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 in their Conference Semi-finals series, but they stepped up another level in Game against Cleveland – particularly defensively – as LeBron was restricted to just 15 points.
A rollicking 36-18 first quarter set the tone and Boston led by 26 points at halftime. Jaylen Brown top-scored with 23 points, while Marcus Morris (who also had 10 rebounds) and Al Horford also hit the 20-point mark.
The Cavs shot a woeful 36 percent from the field, which they obviously need to rectify to level up here in Game 2. Coach Tyronn Lue is weighing up whether to start Tristan Thompson to help combat in-form Celtics big man Horford.
The Celtics have won four of their last six against the Cavaliers at home, but we get the feeling the bear has well and truly poked by the 25-point margin in Game 1 and the media reaction to the Cavs’ flat display.
The bear in this case is LeBron James, who will be hell-bent on carrying his side to a TD Garden square-up before the series moves on to Cleveland.