Cavaliers vs. Celtics: Game 1 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Kristopher Nichols
May 13, 2018

Like the conquering 8-bit hero of old, the Boston Celtics keep knocking off bosses. The main event, however, begins on Monday night. The Warriors have had the upper hand, with two championships to one, and six victories to two in the regular season games since 2015.

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris said Saturday the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is the only player more capable of defending Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James than himself.

Tatum couldn't feel more different from opening night in Cleveland, and his first National Basketball Association game.

Morris had 55 matchups this season against James, giving up 43.6 points per 100 possessions to him.

It was a simple strategy that Coach of the Year Dwane Casey - whom the Toronto Raptors fired Friday - could find no answer for.

James will enter the series opener with almost a week of rest.

In the text message, viewed by, Gilbert told Lue: "philosophically, sometimes I think we should NOT be afraid to fail as much as we seem to be". First of all, Lue didn't have a vote in the second-annual National Basketball Coaches Association's second-annual award, because he was out sick at the time.

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As Cavs guard Kyle Korver sees it, the series with the Celtics will more closely resemble the hard-fought seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers than the four-game sweep of the Toronto Raptors because of the tenacious defense the Celtics play. "And I think that that makes you - no matter what people have predicted you will be - play at a togetherness and a toughness level that is OK in this town". Hill, acquired from Sacramento at the trading deadline, is getting his first chance to play with the Cavaliers in the conference finals.

Injured big man Gordon Hayward has been making very good progress almost seven months away from his fractured tibia and dislocated left ankle. The Cavaliers and Celtics might as well be. He was then involved in almost every decisive play in the final minute of his team's Game 5 clincher against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Tatum is the second rookie this post-season to notch seven straight 20-plus point play-off games. Andre Igoudala does all the dirty work. With Kyrie Irving now a member of the Celtics, James took on an even bigger role on offense. Looking at some trends, the Cavs are just 28-24 against winning teams while the Celtics are 31-21. He's an end-of-the-bench player for the Cavs, playing eight total minutes in the playoffs, recording two points and one rebound.

What has made the difference between this D'Antoni coached team and others in the past are the number of good individual defenders that are on his roster next to Paul and Harden. One the tasks Brown will potentially be asked to perform is to slow down James, which is no easy task. James would earn the most money next year by re-signing in Cleveland. Golden State and Houston had almost identical offensive ratings (Warriors at 112.3 and Rockets at 112.2), the two best in the league.

Jaylen Brown (6-7, 225) will get the first crack, but has to hope the extra days off have helped him deal with hamstring issues. "I think it's been designed that way so guys can just develop and learn as they go", Horford said. I think there's a lot that everybody knows that makes LeBron so great.

"As a competitor you want to be in the moments, you want to thrive in the moments, and we have the opportunity again to be able to do that".

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