I wrote about both teams in my two previous posts, but I will repeat some facts for this one. First of all I must say that I am pissed off because Celtics reach finals this season. Don't get me wrong I have utmost respect for Celtics from few years ago, Celtics with Rondo, Pierce, Garnett etc, that was true team which played great basketball, these Celtics are far from them and never will be able to win Eastern confernce as long as LeBrone will be in it. First they had huge luck that Rondo picked up injury in first series against Bulls, I am absolutly sure with Rondo in line-up Bulls would advance in next round over Celtics. Than Wizards, without road win they advanced into finals, and they were very close to lose all four games at home, but fans help them to advance into next round, only thing which worth in Boston is their fans, they are simply great.
In this round best player, at least in my opinion, was Olynyk, he was simply unstoppable on offensive end, but not because he is outstanding player, mostly because coach of Washington made same mistake during whole series, he tried to match Olynyk with Mahinmi or in some situation with Morris, while he put Gortat on Horford, totaly wrong, I am not coach but you can not put small or slow player to defend tall player with amazing dribbling skills, put Gortat on him whole time and eventualy he will make stupid fouls fast, or defend pick&roll over screen not under screen, whatever happend Olynyk was X-factor in series against Wizards. Thomas showed that he is nothing more than average player, after first game he showed nothing more, Wizards putting double teams on him whole the time and he never find the way to split double team and finish with basket. Bradley is another player which showed most from all Boston players in this series, he played great defense on Beal and sometimes on Wall as well, he was the best defensive weapon in last quarter of Game 7 when he forced Wall to miss his last 10 shots. Horford showed less than nothing in this series while Crowder from time to time hit something and played good on defensive end.
I don't want to spend too much words on Cavs as well, so far they are 8-0 in play-off, they beat Torono more than easy, thanks to no small part, Lowry absence. James was the best player of course in both series so far, but I was surprised when I saw that Irving actually knew how to play as true points guard, with all those assists against Raptors. Love also stepped up against Ibaka, especially in first two games, while Cavs second unit is what make difference against any team. So all in all, Cavs are the best team on East, no matter if they don't have number one seed (we will see how must that will worth to Celtics).
Thomas against Irving: Irving athletic abilities are on much higher level than Thomas, and he will take advantage from that for sure. Another important thing is defense on pick&roll play, that was the worst part with Bulls (expect first game) and Wizards, they didn't have good enough center to defend pick&roll play (or better to say, they didn't have quick big man to adapt on that kind of play), Irving with Thomspon can defend that kind of play pretty easy, and Celtics will have hard time to score from pick&roll game. So in this match-up I will give advantage to Irving, in scoring department these two point guards are evenly matched but on defensive end Irving can provide much more for his team than Thomas can.
Bradley against Smith: Smith surprised me how he defend DeRozan in match-up against Raptors, but on this position Cavs have a lot of players which can step up, defensivly and offensivly. Bradley is without question, one of the best perimeter defender in NBA, but Cavs ball movemant is almot perfect so we will see how that will work. But small advantage I will give to Bradley, because I believe he can handle Smith defensivly while Smith must play perfect on defensive end if he wants to handle Bradley.
Crowder against James: I will just say LOL (something similar I wrote for James match-up against Carroll). Probably we will Crowder in first few minutes until he pick up couple of fouls and that we will see other players. Noone isn't even close (except maybe Leonard from San Antonio) which can handle James or at least to slow him down, he lives for play-off games and with over 40 minutes per game he is main weapon and he is unstoppable.
Johnson against Love: Another match-up which going in favor of Cavs, Love is better scorer, better shooter, better rebounder and better in all other areas than Johnson, simply this match-up Love should win easily, something similar like James against Crowder.
Horford against Thomspon: Horford is better from perimeter, Thomspon is better inside the paint. I will give Horford small advantage in this one because he is better scorer and shooter from distance and Thomspon will probably continue to pay attention only on defensive end to slow down pick&roll and pick&pop game with Irving so in that part he is better player than Horford.
2nd unit against 2nd unit: Second unit of Cavs isn't exactly second unit, James playing with them and sometimes they even looking better than starting line-up. Korver, Shumpert, Frye, William, all of them are excellent shooters, especially Korver and Frye and they give valuable minutes from bench to Cavs rotation. On other side Smart, Brown and Olynyk are worth to mention and only maybe Olynyk can provide advantage in paint with 2nd unit, all in all, Cavs have huge advantage overall in this part.
PREDICTION: Cavs to win this series in four games. As I already mentioned, Celtics didn't deserved to find themselves here, they had huge luck in first round and we can say in second round as well. Cavs on other side swept both opponents in first and second round, so choosin Cavs to cover handicap is smart thing in this series. Also if line for points set around 215-216, that is good deal for over, if line set on more points than 217 you should stay away from betting on points. About player performances, Thomas is good deal for over in points and maybe even on assists, Bradley also can step up and score more than line represent, but all others not worth to be taken into consideration, on other side in Cavs rotation taking James on points, assists and rebounds are always smart bet because he is always very close to triple-double, in this series Irving should be good in scoring department as well but he also improved passing game so depend on line sometimes maybe he will be good for over in assists, on the end Love in rebounds, he is one of the best rebounders in league and Celtics showed in both previous games that they don't know how to protect own paint so opponents are able to provide a lot of second chance points.
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Excellent write up Kapica89 would be good to get some feedback from Basketball bettors
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Nice prediction on Cavs winning in 4. Thought it might of been in 5 but can't see that happening now. Nice write up agree with a lot of what you wrote.
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