Gary | Fri 19/05/2017 - 02:13 EDT

Can The Celtics Rebound From Game 1 Implosion?

Can The Celtics Rebound From Game 1 Implosion?

Back the Celtics to keep it close

By Dan Favale

All bets brought to you by Topbet

Boston Celtics (+5.5) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-5.5)

Nothing went right for the Boston Celtics during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It became very clear, very early, that they are not in the Cleveland Cavaliers' class. Like, the game wasn't even close.

LeBron James turned the Celtics into his own personal chew toy, putting up 38 points and seven assists on 14-of-24 shooting. Tristan Thompson was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field. Kevin Love's hot start helped him to 32 points with a 6-of-9 showing from beyond the arc.

Simply put, Game 1 was a massacre, with the Cavaliers leading by as many as 28 points. That the Celtics only lost 117-104, for a deficit of 13 points, was a small garbage-time miracle.

Worst of all: There are no assurances life gets better in Game 2.

James shot 1-of-6 from three-point range in Game 1. Kyrie Irving was 0-of-3. The Celtics actually put down one more triple than the Cavaliers. Rivaling Cleveland's outside touch, or exceeding it, was basically Boston's entire offensive model entering this series. It was the only way they were going to keep pace or surpass the reigning champs. That the Celtics drilled more triples and still got creamed is a major red flag. 

odds

If there's any reason for optimism, it's head coach Brad Stevens. He is a whiz at making adjustments on the fly. We saw as much in the Chicago Bulls series, then saw it again in Round 2 against the Washington Wizards. He'll do what he can once again to tip the Celtics' rotation in the right direction.

This comes with the caveat, of course, that there may not be anything he can do. But you can almost bet rookie Jaylen Brown will be in the starting lineup Friday night. He defended James as well as anyone in Game 1; he deserves a crack at him again.

And, truthfully, this the Celtics' best chance at countering: Play LeBron one-on-one while locking down everyone else. They didn't do that nearly enough in Game 1, and it showed. They collapsed on almost everything, and he was able to torch them with a steady diet of kick-outs.

Neutralize the Cavaliers' spot-up shooters—particularly Love and Kyle Korver—and you give yourself a chance. The Celtics have the personnel to do that, with strong perimeter pests in Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley. 

From there, it's a matter of knocking down more threes. Though the Celtics sank more triples than the Cavaliers in Game 1, they still only shot 12-of-38 overall. Bradley and Isaiah Thomas specifically combined to go 4-of-15 from long range, with many of their misses coming on quality looks. They have to be better. And they need at least one of Smart, Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk to join them.

Playing at home won't prevent the Celtics from losing. But this game should be much closer than the one we just saw.

The Pick: Boston Celtics (+5.5) 

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : 2017 NBA Playoffs , boston celtics , cleveland cavaliers , eastern conference finals , nba

More articles...
Betting Picks - 12/08/19
NFL Futures: Patriots Look For Record Super Bowl Win 
The NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019. The league was born during a meeting in a Canton, Ohio car dealership in 1920, and has grown to become the most popularity sports betting entity in North America. The New England Patriots have won two of the last three Super Bowls. Super Bowl Sunday, slated this season for Miami's Hard Rock Stadium, is the biggest single sports wagering day of the year.
Betting Picks - 08/08/19
UFC 241: Heavyweight Showdown On Tap 
The big boys will take center stage in the octagon at UFC 241. UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will defend his title against former champ Stipe Miocic.

Cormier defeated Miocic to win the title at UFC 236 on July 7th 2018. Miocic is listed as the No. 1 contender for the heavyweight title. His loss to Cormier was his first in the octagon since 2014. He's never lost two in a row.
Betting Picks - 23/07/19
UFC 240: Holloway, Cyborg Seek Redemption From Rare Setbacks 
Check out the odds and picks for the UFC 240 here.
Betting Picks - 15/07/19
British Open 2019: Rory McIlory Returning Home 
The British Open will take its 2019 championship to County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

For the first time in 68 years, the competition for the Claret Jug will be contested over the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush.

England's Max Faulkner won the tournament the last time it was played here in 1951.

Will there be a home-course advantage for Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who holds the course record at Royal Portrush?