Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Referees: Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay, James Williams
Line: BOS -3.5 (o/u 189)
Get it to: Jeff Green
The Cavs Earl Clark isn’t what you’d call a defensive stopper. Opposing SFs are torching him for 58% eFG, 19.9 PER and 10.6 RP48. I typically stray from placing Jeff Green in the “get it to” category, but the match-up is too good.
Gotta stop: Kyrie Irving
If the Celtics escort Irving into the lane the same way they did Mike Conley on Wednesday night, his 41% FG in November is bound to increase. Here’s hoping Brad Stevens has a plan for stopping Irving on the pick-and-roll. Screw it, I’d consider trapping him on early play. Avery Bradley needs to be in full pit bull mode.
The Wild Card: The Cavs front line
They may be playing poorly, but Cleveland rolls out some talented bigs. Anderson Varejao is playing the best right now (51% FG, 8.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg). Tristan Thompson (11.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 42% FG) is capable of destroying us. The best game of his young career may have been the 29 points and 17 rebounds he dropped in Boston last April.
How we see it goin’ down
These teams struggle in the same facets of the game; scoring, ball movement and turnovers. This could be one ugly game. I fear Kyrie Irving’s ability to take-over a game, but the Celtics are the better defensive team.
Something in my turkey-bloated gut tells me the C’s get the home crowd a much deserved win.