NBA: Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Series Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 4/30/2010
The first conference semifinal series in the NBA tips off Saturday afternoon with Game 1 between Boston and Cleveland, with the Cavs as big -450 series favorites and -7.5 for the opener.
Obviously oddsmakers expect a fully healthy LeBron James, who reportedly has won the NBA’s MVP award for the second year in a row. Of course LeBron memorably shot a free throw left-handed in the series-clinching win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night because his right elbow was bothering him. An MRI revealed a strain and a bone bruise.
"I'll be ready for Game 1, and I'm going to be a productive player," James said, while adding that if he can't shoot long distance he'll take it to the rim more often.
The Celtics aren’t buying it – “He’s fine,” Coach Doc Rivers said. LeBron was incredible against the Bulls (31.8 points per game on 57 percent shooting, 9.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists) and averaged 36.5 points against them in four regular-season, with the Cavs winning the middle two meetings and Boston winning on Opening Night (ending an eight-game losing streak in Cleveland) and as recently as April 4 in Beantown. James’ 30.9-point career average against Boston is his highest average against any team and the highest ever for a C’s opponent.
Boston looked very good in taking out the Heat in five games in the first round, and Kevin Garnett – the likely key to this series – says he is as healthy as he has been all season. After shooting just 41 percent in April in the regular season, Garnett made nearly 58 percent of his shots against the Heat. In the four regular-season meetings with the Cavaliers, Garnett shot just 42 percent. Cleveland acquired Antawn Jamison to help spread the floor and draw out power forwards like Garnett to the perimeter.
The other key matchup – obviously James and Paul Pierce will get all the publicity – should be Cleveland’s point guards against Rajon Rondo. Chicago’s Derrick Rose was dominant against the Cavs in the last series, and if Rondo turns Boston’s Big 3 of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen into a Big 4, the Celtics absolutely can pull the upset. Rondo averaged 14..8 points, 10.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds this season against the Cavs this season. Cleveland’s Mo Williams, meanwhile, was awful in Game 5 against Chicago (2-for-13 from the field).
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Series Predictions
Think the Cavs will take this one in six games. The Celtics have been playing well at home lately and they were pretty impressive in their first round series but we think the Cavs can steal a game in Boston and that they will be able to end this series early
Doc’s Sports is on a 17-7 NBA run and 15-7 in the NBA Playoffs and they will have a big totals play for Boston/Cleveland on Saturday. Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 for more information about our NBA Playoffs packages.
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