By Emily Musella
Celtics hit cruise control with W over Cavaliers
The Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night. The Cavs are coming off a disastrous blowout against the 76ers, losing 141-94. They will look to bounce back against a red-hot Boston squad, especially at home. Meanwhile, the Celtics bested the Nuggets with a 108-95 on Friday night. Can the Cavs hand the Celtics their first loss at home, or will the Celtics send the Cavs packing back to Cleveland with an L? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Odds: BOS -13
Over/Under: Over 215
Tip-off: December 9th, 7:30 p.m EST, TD Garden
The Cavs will look to get Kevin Love back on track as he only hit for 6 points and 7 rebounds in his last game. Though there are trade rumors rolling, for now, the Love will remain in Cleveland . However, the bright spot was Darius Garland who racked up 17 points and 5 rebounds. The biggest blow for the Cavs was their defensive game. They allowed the 76ers to hit for 63%. Not to mention they have lost 12 of their last 13 games. For the Cavaliers, right now is about stopping their self-destructive nature this season, which could take a turn on Monday night.
Offensively, the Cavaliers have big-time playmakers like Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Cedi Osman. But all three of these players need to work together on the court to have a chance against the Celtics D. There is clear frustration for the team this season as they continue to struggle to win. In the NBA, the Cavs rank 29th on total offense, with their average away score being 102 points. Can this Cleveland team come together to slay the beast?
Defensively for the Cavs, they rank 20th in the league with 33 rebounds and allowing nearly 49% field goal completion for opposing teams. The Cavs will have their hands full against Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Also, Marcus Smart is back and he is known for playing well on both sides of the court.
Keys to success for the Cavs to leave the Garden with a W will be to shutdown the big three of Walker, Tatum and Brown, put up enough points against a shot heavy Boston team and commit as few turnovers as possible on offense.
The Celtics will look to defend their unbeaten record when they play at the Garden. Marcus Smart is back and ready to make up for his lost time. Not to mention Boston is favored by double digits for the first time this season. Can the C’s catapult themselves to another victory on Monday night?
Offensively, the Celtics currently sit at 15th in the league, but they should be able to rise in the ranks against a terrible Cavs defensive squad tonight. Tatum and Brown hit for a combined 47 points and 14 rebounds against the Nuggets. Not to mention Walker notched 19 points. Marcus Smart had his first game back against the Nuggets with a respectable 9 points.
Defensively, the Celtics rank 3rd in the league with an average 35 rebounds and keeping their opponents to an average 99 points when at home. Head coach Brad Stevens continues to wow the league with his superb defensive plays. Between Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter, the C’s defense seems nearly unstoppable this season, especially when they play at the Garden. Can the defense continue their juggernaut performances against the Cavs offense?
PREDICTION AND ANALYSIS
The Celtics and Cavaliers face-off on Monday night in Boston. This would seem like a lopsided match up, but don’t count the Cavs out completely. Though I see Boston racking up at least 120 points in this one, I do think the Cavs will keep it close at the end. The Celtics will win this match up with a final score of 120-108. The Celtics are in the driver’s seat for this one and ready hit cruise control, the Cavs desperately need to regroup their team, are you ready basketball fans?