The NBA takes a scheduled break so the playoffs can last even longer than necessary. This allows time to reexamine where we are and talk about what the rest of the Conference Finals might hold.
Houston salvaged their playoff run with a Game 2 blowout of Golden State, while Cleveland has their back against the proverbial wall down 0-2 in their series with Boston.
The series betting odds have changed dramatically in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. Part of this is how each series has played out and going into Game 3 a venue change. Here is how the East started out and here are the current numbers at Betonline.
Opening – Cleveland -250 Boston +230
Current – Boston -220 Cleveland +190
The Celtics have not had a problem guarding, holding Cleveland to 83 and 94 points in the first two games. What Boston has brilliantly done is contain the Cavaliers three-point shooting and really flustered them on defense. The Cavs on the season have averaged a dozen made 3’s per contest and thus far they have 14. Granted, that will change when they get back on their home court and for as outstanding as the Celtics have played, they are 1-4 SU and ATS in the postseason.
In thinking reflectively, in many ways Boston is the worst playoff matchup for Cleveland. Though Golden State has mostly played excellent defense in the postseason, they have had a few stinkers. Brad Stevens guys have been far more consistent in permitting 100.2 points a contest. With the Cavaliers really not a solid defensive team, the Celtics ball movement, and relentless style have made Cleveland look old and tired at times. And nothing was more pointed then Terry Rozier catching a pass on the right side of the court by himself behind the arc and draining a three-pointer in the fourth quarter of Game 2, with not one Cavs player even making an effort to get a hand up.