Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Preview, Predictions and Picks for May 9, 2024

Published on:
May 9, 2024 7:10 AM
The Cleveland Cavaliers, seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference, travel to TD Garden to face the top-seeded Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the East Semifinals on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 7:00 PM. Boston looks to build on their 1-0 series lead, while the Cavaliers seek to even the series. This crucial matchup will determine the momentum of the series.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics

Cavaliers vs Celtics game preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers head into Game 2 trailing the series after a tough opening loss to the Boston Celtics. The absence of Jarrett Allen, who is sidelined with a ribs bruise, poses a significant challenge for the Cavaliers, especially in the rebounding department where Allen leads with an average of 10.5 rebounds per game. This puts an added pressure on other players like Evan Mobley to step up and fill the void. Offensively, the Cavaliers will rely heavily on Donovan Mitchell, who leads the team with 26.6 points per game, and Darius Garland, who's adept at setting up scoring opportunities and maintains an average of 6.5 assists per game. Without Allen, Cleveland must sharpen their perimeter defense and execute a more cohesive offensive strategy to counter Boston's robust defense.

On the other side, the Boston Celtics carry the advantage of a 1-0 series lead and the comfort of playing at home with a fiercely defensive crowd at their backs. Leading the charge for the Celtics is Jayson Tatum, whose prowess on both ends of the floor has been pivotal; he averages 26.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Key to Boston's success will also be Derrick White, who with 5.2 assists per game, acts as a facilitator for the offensive plays crucial against a defensively strong Cavaliers. The Celtics are expected to continue leveraging their solid bench depth and aggressive defensive setup to stifle the Cavaliers' key scorers. With an emphasis on strong opening quarters and maintaining pressure, the Celtics are well-positioned to extend their series lead.

Boston Celtics injuries

  • Kristaps Porzingis (C): Out

Cleveland Cavaliers injuries

  • Dean Wade (PF): Out
  • Ty Jerome (SG): Out
  • Jarrett Allen (C): Out
  • Craig Porter (G): Out

How to Watch the Cavaliers vs Celtics

The Cavaliers vs. Celtics game will be televised on ESPN and is scheduled for Thu 7:00 PM.

Cavaliers vs Celtics predictions

The Cavs walking into the TD Garden as 13.5-point underdogs? Yeah, that's a lot of points, folks. I mean, we're talking about a team that's got some real firepower with Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland leading the charge. But let's be real, the Celtics are the best team in the East for a reason. They're deep, they're talented, and they're on a mission. I wouldn't be shocked if some bettors are tempted to take the Cavs and the points, but I think the Celtics are gonna cover this one comfortably. Then again, I've been wrong before... often.

Okay, so let's get into some player projections for this one. I think Jayson Tatum is due for a monster game - 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists sounds about right. And don't even get me started on Jaylen Brown - 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals is my prediction. On the Cavs side, I think Donovan Mitchell is gonna come out guns blazing - 32 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds seems like a solid outing. But here's the thing, the Celtics just have too much depth and too many options. I'm taking Boston to win this one 122-108, and honestly, I think they might even cover that spread. The Cavs just can't match up with the Celtics' big three of Tatum, Brown, and Horford. Unless something crazy happens, like a Mitchell 40-point explosion, I just don't see the Cavs pulling off the upset. Celtics win, and they'll take a commanding 2-0 series lead heading back to Cleveland.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

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