Jonas Nader

Basketball Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Dose: LeBron, Cavs crush BOS

Friday, May 26, 2017


Cavaliers 135, Celtics 102 (Cavs win series 4-1)

 

Another day, another blowout. The Cavaliers weren’t playing around on Thursday and raced out to a 43-27 lead in the first quarter, their highest scoring first quarter in franchise history (Their 135 points is also a franchise record for most points in a playoff game). LeBron James was unstoppable like he’s been all postseason, racking up 35 points with eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals, one block and four 3-pointers on an efficient 13-of-18 shooting. LeBron passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader, though LBJ has played 33 more games than the G.O.A.T. LeBron will now head to his seventh straight NBA Finals and will try to close the gap on Jordan’s six titles — LeBron currently has three. 

 

"You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature," James said. "It doesn't matter to me. At the end of the day, it's so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it's never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It's just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know -- and it should be the same for us.” (h/t to Dave McMenamin of ESPN)

 

Kyrie Irving was no slouch either with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, adding seven assists, two rebounds, two steals and four 3-pointers in 32 minutes. LeBron has been getting all the headlines, but Irving has been special in these playoffs as well and was coming off a 42-point performance in Game 4. This has also been Kevin Love’s best series so far and the forward had another great night on Thursday, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, four steals, one block and three triples. With the big three in Cleveland firing on all cylinders, they should give the revamped Warriors team a run for their money in the NBA Finals, but I’m still picking Golden State to win it all in five games. 

 

Avery Bradley was the lone bright spot for Boston, racking up 19 of his 23 points before halftime with four rebounds, one assist and two triples, while Jae Crowder was the only other starter to score in double digits (11 points). Meanwhile, Al Horford was held to eight points and three boards, Kelly Olynyk notched seven points with four boards and two assists and Marcus Smart had just six points on 2-of-7 shooting with five boards, two assists, one steal, two triples and five turnovers. 

 

Gerald Green and Terry Rozier combined for 24 points off the bench in the garbage time special, while Jaylen Brown scored seven points in nine minutes before leaving the game for good after re-aggravating his hip pointer — he was considered questionable to play tonight and Celtics GM Danny Ainge said that he was in a “lot of pain” prior to tip-off. Since there’s not much to talk about due to the lopsided score, let’s take a look at where the Celtics go from here…

 

Editor’s Note: Introducing FanDuel Mixup, the newest way to play FanDuel Baseball. Smaller lineups, so you can draft your team on the go, plus fun themes every week! Play now.

 

 

Projected starting lineup for 2017-18:

 

PG: Isaiah Thomas

SG: Avery Bradley

SF: Jae Crowder

PF: Al Horford

C: Ante Zizic

 

Isaiah Thomas will be facing a lengthy rehab this summer if he opts to undergo surgery on his hip (he will make a decision in two weeks), but he became one of the best players in the East this season and will be back to reprise his role as the starting PG regardless of who the Celtics draft. He’s slated to make just $6.2 million in the final year of his deal, an absolute bargain after he averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on his way to a top-20 finish in standard fantasy leagues. I have him pegged as a second-round pick next season as long as he's healthy for opening night. 

 

Avery Bradley was in the midst of a breakout season before injuries slowed him down, while Jae Crowder had his second straight top-50 finish in standard leagues. Bradley has one year left on his deal and Crowder has one of the best contracts in the NBA as he's slated to make about $22 million over the next three seasons. Both players should be mid-round picks again next season. 

 

Al Horford was a mild letdown during his first year in Boston and will have a tough time living up to his contract, especially when you consider he will be 31 in June. Horford will play more PF next season with Ante Zizic expected to join the Celtics, so maybe that will get him going. Speaking of Zizic, the 20-year-old big man from Croatia is one of the best players in Europe and should make an immediate impact in the NBA. Rebounding is arguably Boston's biggest weakness, so make sure Zizic isn't sitting on your wire in dynasty formats. 

 

Key Reserves

 

Marcus Smart

Jaylen Brown

Kelly Olynyk

Terry Rozier

Markelle Fultz?

Guerschon Yabusele

 

 

Smart still can’t shoot to save his life, but his defense and toughness is incredibly valuable. He could be trade bait with the Celtics expected to draft Markelle Fultz, though. The same can be said for Terry Rozier. Olynyk should be back as one of the first bigs off the bench, while rookie Guerschon Yabusele is an intriguing two-way big for the Celtics to develop next season. Unfortunately, Yabusele underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from the top of both feet and may not be ready for Summer League. As for impending free agents Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, James Young, Gerald Green and Jonas Jerebko, I don’t expect to see more than one of them back in Boston. 

 

With plenty of cap space to work with, the Celtics will try to lure Gordon Hayward to Boston and the Brad Stevens factor certainly helps because he coached him during his Butler days, but they have plenty of fallback options if they fail. They have the assets necessary to pry Jimmy Butler away from Chicago or Paul George from Indiana, but it’s up to Celtics GM Danny Ainge to finally pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade that his fanbase is desperately waiting for. Expect another 50-win season for the Celtics in 2017-18, but barring a couple of major additions, they are still miles behind LeBron James and the Cavaliers.




Email :Jonas Nader



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Silva: Week 3 Matchups

    Silva: Week 3 Matchups
  •  
    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers

    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers
  •  
    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants

    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants
  •  
    Draftsville: Episode 2

    Draftsville: Episode 2
  •  
    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football

    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Whoops! Silva Can

    Whoops! Silva Can't Find Gronk
  •  
    NFL Must Haves

    NFL Must Haves