The Pacers and Raptors had no answer for ‘The King’. Can Brad Stevens and a young Celtics roster deny LeBron a 7th consecutive NBA Finals berth…
NBA Playoffs Previews
East Finals Game 1: Cleveland @ Boston (Mon 5:30am)
The Wolf is still trying to figure out just how the Cavs are in the Eastern Conference Finals… In the opening round of the playoffs, the Pacers finished with a net score of +40 – a all time record by a team in a losing series. Then the Raptors managed to shoot better than 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 90% from the stripe (50/40/90) – only to get swept! Are teams giving LeBron too much respect or has he simply learned how to harness all of his powers.
Here are some some of the stats surrounding ‘The King’ in the playoffs…
– LeBron is averaging 34.3ppg in the playoffs including four 40+ games.
– Has created 80% of his own baskets with just 28 assisted field goals.
– Assisted on 45.6% of team-mates field goals.
– Increased his output across all metrics from the regular season inluding points, rebounds, blocks, steals, FG% and FT%.
– Was responsible for a record 77 points against the Raptors in Game 2.
There is only one question heading into this series. Can Boston stop ‘The King’???
It is no secret that Brad Stevens is a basketball savant. The Celtics found a way to keep a lid on the Greek Freak after he went off in the opening two games of the series and turned Ben Simmons, the Rookie Of The Year in waiting, into a liability. LeBron averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds and under 8 assists in the 3 regular season meetings with the Celtics but The Wolf says we cannot read too much into those clashes. Crowder, Wade, Rose, Osman and Calderon were all starters in at least one of those games – something that will not be the case in this series.
It’s a clean slate, but here is what we do know! The Celtics are a perfect 7-0 at home in the playoffs and a very impressive 13-3 ATS in their last 16 at the TD Garden. The Cavs on the other hand are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when on 3 or more days rest. No matter what, we know that LeBron will get his but can a deep Celtics roster contain the Cavs role players….
Korver will not average 15ppg as he did against the Raptors and there is no way that JR Smith will average 4 made 3-pointers as he did against LeBronto. The Celtics are in a unique position in terms of throwing different bodies at LeBron. Brown will do the bulk of the work but Horford will be able to handle him in the pick and roll while Tatum and Smart will do a job when called upon. Home court is the key in this series and The Wolf will respect the team that has it.
We will be going the distance and The Wolf cannot see anyone rolling into the TD Garden and winning Game 7 – not even ‘The King’.
Wolf’s NBA Playoffs Best Bet Record: 28-26