The home-away trend in this series continued in Game 5. Following two games where the Boston Celtics looked pathetic and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked unstoppable, the trends reversed in Game 5 as the Celtics had the home-court advantage. Now we switch back to Quicken Loans Arena for this NBA matchup where Cleveland has looked untouchable so far. Can the Celtics at least make this a game and cover or will the Cavs roll and force a Game 7?
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
As good as they have been on their home floor, the Celtics are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games. There might be a number of stats that support the Celtics but they have been a completely different team on the road than at home this entire postseason.
Meanwhile, Cleveland is 4-0 against the spread in its last four home games versus teams with a road winning percentage greater than .600. The Cavaliers are 1-0 in elimination games these playoffs (beat the Indiana Pacers 105-101 in Game 7 in the first round). Cleveland has won seven straight home games since a Game 1 loss to the Pacers in the opening round.
Boston improved to 10-0 on its home floor in the playoffs with a 96-83 win over the Cavaliers in Game 5. However, the Celtics have looked like a much different team on the road where they are just 1-6 so far this postseason. The key for Boston will undoubtedly be its defense. In three home wins in this series, the Celtics have allowed an average of just 86.6 points per game. In two road losses, Boston has allowed an average of 113.5 points per game.
The Celtics will definitely look to pick up from where they left off when it comes to defending LeBron after they held him to just two points in the fourth quarter of their Game 5 win. Meanwhile, rookie Jaylen Brown led the way offensively with 17 points while Al Horford chipped in 15 points. Boston’s young players in particular have performed much better at home. Those young players will need to step up and carry over that level of play on the road or they’ll be back at home for Game 7 in a one-game showdown.
The home team has won every game, so far in this series and none of them has been closer than nine points. The Cavaliers should be able to draw confidence off of those numbers with their backs against the wall on Friday night. A better start will be important after the Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter of Game 5 and never looked back.
Meanwhile, LeBron will once again be in the spotlight as he looks to help Cleveland stave off elimination. LeBron has made it to seven straight NBA Finals and will be motivated to keep that streak alive and avoid elimination. He always shines in elimination games. What he’ll need is the help of his supporting cast. Guys like George Hill, Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith, who contributed a lot in Games 3 and 4, and then disappeared in Game 5. Look for them to be more productive now that they’re back in their friendly confines.
Celtics vs. Cavaliers Prediction