12:30 p.m. at Cleveland
Celtics +7 at Cavaliers (185)
Boston and Cleveland are no strangers to each other, having met in the Eastern Conference final last year and favored to do so again. Only this time the Cavaliers are the No. 1 seed and the Celtics No. 2. Each side has held serve at home with the Celtics winning by 11 and 5 points in Boston, while the Cavs won by 15 in Cleveland. A victory for either side today means far more to ego than the standings.
Each side is hot. Boston has won six straight and 10 of 11. The Celts have exceeded 100 points in five straight games, their longest such stretch of the season. This increased offense has occurred without Kevin Garnett, who will again sit out today’s game as he rests for the playoffs. The Cavs have won three straight and 16 of 18 in securing the top record in the NBA and home court for as long as they last in the postseason.
LeBron James will have a national audience to show off a potential triple-double in a game that should produce more points than the usual Celts-Cavs matchups. This game should be a lot more freewheeling than when the playoffs arrive. OVER.