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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Game 2: Celtics at Cavs

First round of Eastern Conference playoffs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: TNT, Fox Sports Ohio

1. This next game in Boston on Thursday is going to be the toughest in the series. They will be facing a hostile team in a hostile environment. It's Boston's best chance at a victory in the series. If they don't win Game 3, the Celtics are probably going to get swept. The Celtics are confident they can win the game. Guard Isaiah Thomas said they just have to clean up a few things, and they have a chance at getting back in the series.

2. Obviously, LeBron James (30 points) and Kyrie Irving (26) were outstanding in Game 2. The Celtics haven't been able to slow down Irving in the series, as he's averaged 28 points in the first two games. And, once James starts attacking the basket like he did tonight, there's no stopping him. The third member of the Big Three, Kevin Love (13 points) only got eight shots on the night. However, he was again aggressive getting to the basket. He made 6 of 7 free throws. In the two games, he's 13 of 15 from the foul line. That's an outstanding number.

3. The Cavaliers' starters have outscored Boston's starters, 176-85, in the first two games. It's been a real mismatch. The same can be said of the Celtics' bench, however, which has a a whopping 106-36 edge over the Cavaliers. Many think Boston's bench is stronger than their starters, especially with guard Isaiah Thomas. He's had 22 points in each game and is quite a load. The guy plays with a chip on his shoulder. He finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year voting behind Toronto's Lou Williams.

4. James said after the game he has to cut down on his turnovers in Game 3. He has 11 turnovers in the first two games. Turn the ball over in Boston and the Cavs could lose Game 3. He averaged a career-high 3.9 turnovers during the regular season.

5. Game 3 is not going to be an easy by any means. James was vintage LeBron in Game 2. Simply impossible to defend. The Celtics tried to get rough with him - Evan Turner even smashed him in the face, by accident, I think.

6. The Cavaliers have a 93-73 edge on the glass in the first two games. 

7. Cavs guard J.R. Smith is not having a great series shooting the ball. He's 6 of 21 from the field, 3 of 15 from the 3-point line. He contributed tonight with seven points, four rebounds and five steals. That kept him on the floor.

8. Has a 3-point shooting team ever won an NBA title? Maybe Dallas in 2011. If the Cavs aren't a 3-point shooting team, I've never seen one. Their bombs-away approach was never more evident than in Game 2 when they made just 7 of 29 from behind the arc.

9The Cavs have won 22 of their last 23 games at The Q. They are also 36-9 in the last 45 games.

10. The Cavs have never lost a series when they had a 2-0 lead.

UP NEXT: at Boston, TD Garden, Game 3 of Eastern Conference playoffs, 7 p.m. Thursday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 205)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Brandon Bass (6-8, 250)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 225) vs. Avery Bradley (6-2, 180)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Marcus Smart (6-4, 220)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Joe Harris
Celtics - G Chris Babb, G/F James Young
Danny Crawford, Marc Davis, Bennett Salvatore


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