I need to start this off with saying Celtics fans are extremely delusional. Myself included. After going up 2-0 in the series, approximately 100% of Boston fans believed that they’d win this series with no difficulty. They let the 9-0 record at home these playoffs as well as being 37-0 in series’ when up by 2-0 take over their minds. People got on me for keeping my Cavs in 6 prediction after the first two games. Well, even though I might have felt in favor of the Celtics, I didn’t wanna be the asshole to change my pick and then watch the Celts get their asses destroyed in Cleveland. The best outlook on the series for a Celtics fan is that it’s now a best of 3 series to make the NBA finals.
Lebron James isn’t by Himself Anymore
Games 1 and 2 were easily the Celtics versus just Lebron James. Games 3 and 4 showed that the Cavs actually have role players who can do something. First off, Kyle Korver had 14 points in both of those games and George Hill was effective too. Kevin Love has been huge on the boards. If it wasn’t for foul trouble, Love would have had an even better rebounding game last night. Even JR Smith annoyingly hit timely shots for the Cavs. I assume all of those guys will not play as good on the road in game 5, but they will almost certainly play better than they did in games 1 and 2.
Who’s Under More Pressure?
Both teams face great pressure in game 5. The Cavs have pressure to prove that they can win in Boston. The Celtics pressure is that they need to win or else they’re looking at an elimination game in Cleveland for game 6. Boston unconsciously added pressure by being undefeated at home as well. Expectations for them are through the roof and that’s why they have more pressure. If they lose game 5, the series is practically over. If Cleveland loses game 5, they still have game 6 at home to fall back on. Boston NEEDS game 5.
My Prediction for the Series
If you look back at my series prediction before this series began, I said exactly what is happening. I said Cavs in 6 and I sadly still believe that after the two road games. They won their two games at home and now have all the momentum going into this game 5. Also, The Cleveland role players now have the confidence to make baskets and the crowd won’t bother them as much. Lebron will be able to play more comfortably knowing he doesn’t need to do 100% of the offensive load. For the Celtics to win, they need to continuously feed Al Horford in the paint and draw fouls. Al’s the best Celtics player out there right now and Brad Stevens needs to utilize that. Penetrating the paint will lead to open perimeter shots. I can’t flip flop though, so I’m sticking to my prediction of Cavs in 6.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)