Game 5 sees the best-of-seven series shift back to the TD Garden, where the Boston Celtics have been outstanding both in this series and throughout the 2017-18 season. For that reason, we expect a much better rebound performance from a dreadful Game 4 that saw the Cavaliers win by nine points.
LeBron James is fantastic everywhere, but how will his teammates respond to the challenge of a crucial swing game in one of the toughest venues in the Association?
Prop lines courtesy of Bovada.lv
LeBron James over/under 34.5 points
LeBron James scored 44 points in Game 4, and he is averaging 27.9 points per game over his last-10 playoff games. In this series, through four games, James has scored 15, 42, 27 and 44. In Boston, he is averaging 28.5 points per game in this series.
Even so, we like his chances of repeating what he did in games 2 and 4 when he attempted 28 and 29 field goals, respectively. Assuming Boston is unable to recapture its game 1 form, wherein they limited him to just seven first-half field goal attempts and eight in the second half, his usage rate will likely be high enough to reach the 40-point mark again.
That says little about the overall outcome of the game, however, given that he dropped 42 in a Game 2 loss. OVER.
Kyle Korver over/under 10.5 points
Kyle Korver seems to be picking up the slack that Kevin Love is gratuitously leaving behind. Korver was great on both ends of the court in Game 4, and his overall engagement leads us to believe he scores in the “teens” again, which puts him OVER this mark set by oddsmakers at Bovada.
Kevin Love over/under 17.5 points
Kevin Love’s rampant inconsistency and fading from games make the UNDER on this very tempting. However, his explosive Game 3 worries us in the sense that he easily could come out and go for 20-plus. We’re calling a safe PUSH on this bet. Stay away.
JR Smith over/under 10 points
JR Smith is the least-trustworthy Cavalier. He takes horrible shots, and he is not even an outstanding shooter except for those rare moments he just somehow catches fire. The UNDER is safe enough here, given that he is just as likely to drop a “goose egg” as score double-figures.
Terry Rozier over/under 17 points
“Scary” Terry Rozier has been the heart and soul of the Celtics, Throughout this postseason, he is tallying 17.1 points per game, and Cleveland really does not have the defensive guards to do much with him. Neither did Milwaukee. Rozier is seeing 34.3 minutes per night in this series while attempting 13.8 shots per game in the playoffs. Over the last four games, he has scored 8, 18, 13 and 16.
That makes it look risky, in some senses, but we like Rozier to have another big game and score over 17. He had 16 points and 11 assists in Game 4 but shot just 6 of 15 from the field. That is slightly disconcerting, his 37.3 percent shooting over the last-10 games, but because he is actively engaged, he is going to be close to this mark, and we still feel comfortable with the OVER, despite only one game of four seeing him eclipse this total.
Jayson Tatum over/under 18 points
Jayson Tatum is leading the Celtics in scoring these playoffs with an 18 point per game average. He has been quieter this series though and is averaging 17.5 points per game over his past two, but only scored 13.5 per game in the first two games at the TD Garden. We are going to assume that is an anomaly, and that he regresses towards the mean.
However, since the mean is 18 points, we are going to PUSH this one.
Jaylen Brown over/under 18.5 points
Jaylen Brown is really coming into his own in a Jimmy Butler-esque fashion. His defense has been outstanding, but it has not prevented him from being a high-volume offensive player. His 23 field goals attempts in game 4 support a large role in Boston’s attack tonight, and we like Brown to score 20-plus. OVER.