Thu 25/05/2017 - 00:27 EDT

Can Cavaliers Earn NBA Finals Bid with Game 5 Victory?

Can Cavaliers Earn NBA Finals Bid with Game 5 Victory?

By the end of Thursday night, the NBA Finals matchup may be set. The Cleveland Cavaliers have an opportunity to win the East with a Game 5 victory over the Boston Celtics. Question is: Will they get it? Let’s use TopBet’s lines to find out.

Celtics vs. Cavs Game 5 betting advice

Boston Celtics (+10) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-10)

It's truly amazing how much the Cleveland Cavaliers need LeBron James.

On some level, this feels like a "duh" statement. But he's 32 years old and 14 seasons deep into his career. He's surrounded by two younger stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, both of whom are having solid, if spectacular postseason campaigns. He shouldn't need to be the end-all, be-all for the Cavaliers.

And yet, he is, in a big way. We saw it in their Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics, when he shot 4-of-13 from the floor and was basically a non-factor on the offensive end over the final 15 minutes of the game. Then we saw it again in Game 4, when he got into foul trouble during the first half. Though Irving was spectacular essentially the entire night, the Cavaliers weren't able to pull away until James detonated in the second half.

(As an aside, Richard Jefferson says James was suffering from a bug in Game 3, which would seem to explain his lackluster performance. If he's fully healthy and ready to rock now, this would seem to suggest the Celtics are in trouble.)

Relying on James isn't a bad thing. He's the absolute best player in the game—maybe the best player ever. You have to depend on him. But the degree to which the Cavaliers do is alarming at points.

Consider this series, one in which they've basically dominated.

In the 158 minutes LeBron has spent on the court, the Cavaliers have outscored the Celtics by 71 points, according to NBA.com. In the 34 minute he has spent on the sidelines, though, they have been outscored by four points. That's not okay.

Four points doesn't seem like a lot, but LeBron, contrary to popular belief, does need some rest. And he's never going to get it so long as he's the only player the Cavaliers cannot tread water without. If the Celtics somehow jump out to an early lead once again, all hope of playing him less than 45 minutes goes out the window.

And there's a chance the Celtics make life difficult on the Cavaliers. They have made sensational adjustments since Game 2, particularly on the defensive end, where head coach Brad Stevens has no desire to trot out the same matchup on James for more than a couple of possessions. It's a smart approach, and borderline effective.

If they can shoot better than 32.1 percent from beyond arc (10-of-31 in Game 4) while ensuring they don't get beaten by 15 or more points in a given quarter, this thing should be close. They're at home, in front of their home crowd, facing elimination. We should expect some fight, even if, as everyone expects, they don't win.

Plus, given the Cavaliers' dependence on James, a 10-point spread feels too large even if you expect them to win.

The Pick: Boston Celtics (+10)

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : News

More articles...
News - 26/05/22
Back the Draw in the Champions League Final 

Back the draw in Saturday’s fascinating Champions League final clash. Who do Bettors Favor? Looking at the best sportsbook sites shows that Liverpool are the bookies’ favorite to win the Champions League title for the seventh time. They are rated as +110 with most sportsbooks, while the Spanish giants Real Madrid at +240 and the […]

News - 24/05/22
Best NHL Bets of May 24 and 25 

The second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals is heavy on betting opportunities. However, we’ve hand-picked our best NHL bets, and they’re yours if you keep reading this article. Here are four bets across three different games you should take along with us! Moneyline: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers This game is almost […]

News - 23/05/22
Best NBA Playoff Bets For May 23 and 24 

We will know who will play in the NBA Finals by the end of this week, but before that, there are Game 4's that need to be played. We have a complete betting breakdown of both the Western and Eastern Conference finals matchups right here. After researching both games, we've narrowed down our three best […]

News - 23/05/22
Betting Predictions For 2022 NL Pennant Winner 

You may be surprised to know that we’re already one-fourth of the way into the 2022 MLB season. There’s a large enough sample size of data on teams to make updated betting predictions on the eventual NL pennant winner. That’s exactly what we’re doing in this article, so read on for expert betting advice on […]