Surging C's gear up for battle
Finally healthy, Brad Stevens Celtics’ have captured six of their past seven games. But will the defending champion Cavaliers bring that momentum to a screeching halt tonight?
The two Eastern Conference rivals meet in Northeast Ohio at 8 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives LeBron James & Co. odds of -245 to emerge victorious. Conversely, Boston enters Quicken Loans Arena as a +205 underdog.
With center Al Horford settling into his new digs quite nicely, Boston’s arguably playing as well as any squad in the league. It certainly helps that Isaiah Thomas does nothing but continue to raise his profile with each passing contest. The 5-foot-9 dynamo recently racked up 44 points in a 112-109 triumph at Memphis. He’s a shoo-in to make a second straight All-Star appearance.
DeAndre Liggins draws the unenviable assignment of guarding Thomas shortly. Yet the Cavs’ temporary replacement for J.R. Smith (thumb surgery) more than held his own in major tests against Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Detroit’s Reggie Jackson over the last week. James should be fully recharged, too, after sitting out Monday’s 106-90 loss to the Pistons.
Bottom line: The Cavaliers boast the best home winning percentage (.889) in basketball. Additionally, they’re 9-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this year. Simply put, the C’s can’t keep pace with such a powerful locomotive.
THURSDAY NBA PICK: CAVALIERS -6.5