The Cleveland Cavaliers have the chance to even the Eastern Conference Finals at two apiece when they host the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland tonight (May 21st) at 8:30 PM EST.
The infirmary ward looks the same as the previous three games. The Cavs have a clean sheet. Boston will be missing Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis, and Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving).
Going down 3-1 would be a death sentence for the Cavs. Only 11 teams in NBA history have ran the gauntlet to win after being down 3-1.
Lucky for King James and company, in this year’s conference championships, home teams are a staggering 5-1 at home with an average margin of victory of 26 points. Home court is everything.
Markus Morris is this series’ volunteer/victim to “guard” James and has been adequate. In Game 1 he was able to put the hand cuffs on James leading to one of the worst playoff performances of LBJ’s career. In Game 2 James went off dropping a forty burger, but the Cavs’ supporting cast put in a performance that would make Nicolas Cage cringe.
Game 3 was a different story as the Cavs went back to what this team was built to do after the mid season shake up where the Cavs acquired Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood and George Hill, and that’s to score a lot of points
The Cavaliers offense is pretty simple, what I call the ‘King’s Ring.’ Four shooters set up base around the arc, and LeBron handles the ball at the top. When the Celtics defense cheats down towards the key so they don’t have to watch themselves on the LeBron James highlight reel, James kicks it out and the sharp shooters rain down three balls like napalm on the jungle.
Kyle Korver went off in Game 3, going perfect from the land beyond, hitting all four of his three-point attempts. Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith, and George Hill helped the cause with a combined nine money balls.
What to Expect in Game 4
James is going to get his, that’s a law of the universe but you cannot allow the Ashton Kutcher impersonator (Kyle Korver) and the other one-trick ponies to throw gasoline on the fire.
The Bean town Boys allowed Cleveland to shoot 50% from deep (17/34) in Game 3. Against a LeBron led team, that is a recipe for disaster. Defending the perimeter is a must in Game 4.
If history means anything, Boston is an absurd 37-0 all-time when they win the opening two games of a series.
But in order to establish themselves as the best team in the East, and push the Cavs to the brink of elimination, Jaylen Brown will need stay out of foul trouble so that he can build some rhythm and flow on offense. In Game 3 he played a pedestrian 20 minutes, only able to contribute ten points.
The Celtics are young and well coached, but it was obvious that they had some early road jitters. In the first quarter of Game 3 they committed four turnovers and shot 2-for-10 from the field. Don’t expect this from Brad Stevens’ group again.
Game 4 could potentially be Lebron James’ last time suiting up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. For sports junkies, this is can’t-miss TV.
|Celtics Injuries||Cavaliers Injuries|
|Kyrie Irving: OUT||No Injuries to Report|
|Gordon Hayward: OUT|
|Daniel Theis: OUT|
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