Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals takes place on Saturday evening in Cleveland. The Boston Celtics currently lead the series 2-0 after routing the Cavaliers in both games in Boston. The Cavaliers will be trying to get back into the series by winning game 3 in front of their home crowd.
The Boston Celtics are a young and hungry team, and continue to surprise the rest of the NBA during these playoffs. The Cavaliers are a veteran team, led by LeBron James, and were the heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers must make major adjustments if they are going to get back into the series. The Cleveland Cavaliers are -144 over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals Game 3.
Marcus Smart Ignites Celtics
The Boston Celtics don’t have a true superstar, but they have several key players that have stepped up for them in these playoffs. In game 2 the hero for Boston was Marcus Smart. Smart was virtually all over the place in game 2 and finished with 11 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the Celtic victory. The Cavaliers must find someone who can match Smart’s energy and competitiveness in game 3.
Brad Stevens is quickly earning recognition and praise for having his Celtics team ready to compete each night. The former Butler coach has been pushing the right buttons through two games, and now must get his team ready to win a game on the road. The Celtics are 9-0 at home this postseason, but need to prove they can win a game on the road.
Cavs Must Find Energy
The Cleveland Cavaliers look physically tired, and look tired of each other. The Cavaliers must find a way to compete on both ends of the floor in game 3 if they want to get back in the series. After playing a solid first half in game 2, the Cavaliers got completely blown out in the second half, and appeared to quit on coach Tyronn Lue at times. The Cavaliers committed 15 turnovers in the game 2 loss and blew several key defensive assignments.
LeBron James has brought his team back from a 2-0 series deficit before, most notably the 2016 NBA Finals. The difference this time however is that LeBron is getting little help from his teammates. James was superb in game 2, finishing with 42 as part of a triple double . The Cavaliers need other players to step up and support James if they are going to win game 3. Kevin Love must have a great game offensively to give the Cavs a chance.
Cavs Win a Close Game
The Boston Celtics will try to regain their momentum after taking a few days off in between games. The Celtics know that they can beat the Cavaliers at home, but now must prove that they can win in Cleveland. Boston will continue to try to make life difficult for LeBron, and will continue to attack the Cavaliers on offense.
LeBron James is simply too good to let his team fall to 3-0 series deficit against the Celtics. James might need to score 50 points in game 3, but he will make sure that the Cavaliers get back into the series. The Celtics won’t let the Cavaliers off the hook easily, but the Cavaliers will eventually prevail in a tight one. The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win this game on Saturday, but the Boston Celtics cover the +6.5 spread. Bet on Boston..