NBA Playoff Odds: Celtics Double-Digit Underdogs In Game 5 Vs. Cavs

In game one the Cavaliers' dominance in the paint had very little to do with transition.

Head coach Brad Stevens has depth behind Jae Crowder at small forward, so Gerald Green may be asked to play a more prominent role off the bench if Brown is ruled out.

The Celtics pulled off the improbable comeback upset in Game 3 before Kyrie Irving and James combined to bring the defending champions back from 16 points down to win Game 4 Tuesday night. They now have a week off to prepare for the NBA leading Golden State Warriors for a third year straight, looking for a repeat and to hold off the All NBA loaded roster hungry for vengeance.

With 2:44 left, the remaining Boston fans began a "Let's Go Celtics" chant that kept going until the final horn, cheering every basket as if the game was close. "The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim".

It wouldn't be insane to think the Celtics could win Game 5 at home. And Irving averaged 25.8 points per game, cranking up his scoring when he was needed at the end of the series. They could allow Fultz to grow as the centerpiece of the next great Celtics team and they could also wait out LeBron James' prime and hope the Warriors have some sort of divorce.

"The kid is special", James said of Irving.

"(The Celtics are), like I told you guys before, it's like we're preparing for a whole new team.

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When the Paul George and Jimmy Butler rumors were flying around the trade deadline in February, the Celtics were unable to offer the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft because the lottery had not occurred yet.

The playoffs started out rocky as well, as the Cavs were a C.J. Miles jumper away from losing Game 1 at home to IN, then fell behind by 25 at halftime of Game 3 before rallying for a historic victory.

Cleveland has received the nod as betting chalk in each of its 12 postseason outings this spring but has been a disappointment to bettors when favored by more than 10 points, going 6-7 ATS in its past 13 playoff games, and 6-9 ATS in its past 15 overall, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

Isaiah Thomas was shut down for the season after aggravating a lingering hip injury in Game 2 of the series.

While Russell Westbrook's chase for a season-long triple-double was the dominant story line of this National Basketball Association season, Thomas's incredible campaign for the Celtics was a close second. As he did not play in Game 4, Johnson should be available in Game 5.

Free Agents are an important part of the Celtics run to glory, because they don't cost any assets other than the money they need to spend anyway. "The way he's playing, he's deserving of all the credit he's getting", Irving said before listing some of the Celtics who shone in Thomas' absence. "We understand it. But we work just as hard as these guys".

And they come to Boston with recent history on their side. The Cavaliers have the kind of shooters that if they get hot, even contesting them well will not make a difference.


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