Locky: If You Like the Celtics, Wait to Bet Them in Game 5
Pictured: Brad Stevens. Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Well, Game 3 was really something. Sometimes you get a team’s A++ game combined with the worst effort from an opposing team in the entire playoffs, and when that happens, hoo boy, the sky is the limit when it comes to margin of victory. To say Saturday night was noncompetitive would be an understatement. I’m sure it made people mad they didn’t make other plans for the evening.
As I wrote in a couple of different spots, I wasn’t really interested in that game from a spread standpoint (although saying “Cleveland was the lock of the century” is absolutely something many are doing right now). I thought there were better spots to play the Celtics if you liked them in the series, especially in Game 5, when they’ll be close to a pick ’em and return to the home court they have completely dominated on thus far. But there’s business to attend to before the series heads back east, and I’ll be very curious to see what form of the Celtics we get here.
The Cavs’ preposterous 3-point shooting was good even for them, and the Celtics’ defense was lackadaisical at times — a far cry from some of their efforts this postseason. The most likely situation is we get a reasonable regression with both of those things — the Cavs probably shoot a little worse, and the Celtics probably defend a little better — but where does that really leave us? It probably leaves us with a correct number that I don’t really want a part of.
The Celtics reverted back to their old completely-different-on-the-road selves that made them disasters in some of those Bucks games a few weeks back, and they probably need to be passed on in future road situations. The Cavs are already getting a pretty good amount of credit spreadwise coming off, again, their absolute A++ game. I never like taking teams off that type of effort within the same series. Considering how each team comes into the game seems to make this a big, fat pass for me, but if I have a preferred outcome, it’s a huge Cleveland blowout. Why? Because I’ll get a better number by a couple of points in Game 5 to play the Celtics.