WinView Games Playbook: Celtics vs. Cavaliers - May 27
James Grande breaks down Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Cavaliers to give you his take on what to watch for during today's contest on WinView Games.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics
Game 7; Series tied 3-3
Total: 199.5 / BOS -2.5
This. Is. It. For all the marbles. For a chance to be Eastern Conference Champions. For a chance to dance in the NBA Finals. It all comes down to this Game 7 matchup between two very evenly matched teams. All six games this series have been won by the home team. LeBron James put together an amazing performance in Game 6 and is truly the only thing that is standing in Boston’s way from a Finals appearance.
Players to Watch
LeBron James - All eyes will be on the King himself. James has been magnificent this series but what does he have left for Game 7? He has scored 40-plus points in three games this series and will probably need to make it four for the Cavs to have a chance.
Jeff Green - We saw Green play 31 minutes when Kevin Love left Game 6 and he’s already been announced the Game 7 starter as well. Green took 10 shots in Game 6 which double the amount he had taken in any other game the entire series. With Green on the floor in game 6, Cleveland was +10.
George Hill - The 32-year old has been pretty solid this series scoring in double-figures in three of his last four games. This postseason when Hill scores in double-figures, the Cavs are 7-1. I’m not sure that’s a coincidence because LeBron James hasn’t had much help, so anytime he’s gotten some the Cavs are elevated to the next level. Hill has been bad from three this series going 5-for-19.
J.R. Smith - Earlier this postseason it seemed as if Kyle Korver had surpassed Smith on the depth chart but Smith’s 38 minutes in Game 6 proved that theory to be wrong. Smith hasn’t shot the ball well but he’s a better defender than Korver and Cleveland needs him on the floor. With that said, the more he’s on the floor the more he’ll look for his own shot, most likely the three ball. Smith has eight games this postseason in which he’s made at least three three-pointers.
Terry Rozier - Rozier was Boston’s best source of offense in Game 6 as he went off for 28 points while chipping in seven assists. He hit six three’s and is now taking 6.8 three-pointers per game this series. Rozier has taken double-digit field goal attempts in 17-of-18 playoff games for the Celtics. The team is 6-0 when he scores 20 or more.
Jaylen Brown - After the 27 he poured in during Game 6’s loss, Brown now leads the club in scoring this postseason at 18.3 points per game. Brown has really turned it on this series as he’s scored 20 or more in four of the six games thus far. He’s made at least two three’s and two free-throws in every game this series.
Al Horford - Horford leads Boston in both rebounding and blocks per game this postseason and is third in assists. He’s doing a little of everything for the C’s but they need him to be better than his 2-for-8 from the floor in Game 6. They’re 3-1 this series when Horford scores 15 points or more.
Jayson Tatum - Are we sure this guy’s a rookie? His composure in a series this big, the whole playoffs really, are unparalleled amongst guys his age. Tatum is averaging three more shots per game and 4.3 more points per game from the regular season to the postseason. In three of his last four games, Tatum’s success has been attacking the rim and getting to the line as evident by the three eight free-throw attempt contests.
1. The last made shot of the 1st quarter is a 2-pointer?
It wouldn’t surprise me if LeBron James has the ball in his hands at the end of each quarter driving to the basket. I think the last made shot IS a 2-pointer. I’m going YES here.
2. Both teams combine for 6 or more 3 pointers in the 1st quarter?
The teams hit 21 three’s combined last game, 22 in Game 5 and 17 in Game 4. If you average them out over the course of four quarters, not a single one equals six made in a single Q. I’m going NO here because of the trend the two have set over the last three games.
3. LeBron James scores 10 or more points in the 1st quarter?
You have to go back to Game 4 to find a game in which James scored 10 or more points in the first quarter. He still scored 46 points last game without reaching 10, so if he doesn’t hit 10, he could still go nuts the remainder of the game. I’m going NO here because more often than not James is looking to get his teammates going first before he looks to take over offensively.
4. Either team’s first made FG of the game is a 3 pointer?
Both team’s really like the three ball as they’ve taken over 20 for a few games in a row. I think this is YES as Boston splashes home a three to get their crowd rocking early.
5. Either team records a block or a steal by the 10:30 mark?
Both teams have been very careful with the ball this postseason as Boston ranks second and Cleveland ranks fifth for fewest turnovers per game. That said, early Game 7 jitters likely creep in and a pass is forced that had no business being thrown. I’m going YES here, but it’s 50/50.
6. Boston wins the opening tipoff?
The Celtics have won three straight opening tips and they’ll make it four tonight. YES to Boston winning the jump ball
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