Holding a commanding 2-0 series lead after a pair of double-digit home wins, the Boston Celtics head on the road for Game 3 of the East finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
The game is scheduled to start at about 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch it live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ESPN is included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
The last time a LeBron James team trailed a series 2-0 before the NBA finals was in the 2008 East semis when he was playing alongside the likes of Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and Ben Wallace. In almost identical fashion to the current situation, the Cavs were the fourth seed that year and dropped the first two games against the Celtics.
Though the Cavs would eventually lose that series against the eventual NBA champs in seven games, they were able to win Games 3 and 4 after returning to Cleveland and will look to do the same this time around.
Only one problem. This year’s team has been seriously out-played by the Celtics through two games.
After the Cavs were ran out of the building in Game 1, 108-83, they came back in Game 2 with more energy. LeBron scored 19 points in the first nine minutes and finished with a monster 42-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist triple-double. Kevin Love had 22 and 15. Kyle Korver pitched in 11 points off the bench. Tristan Thompson was solid.
And they still lost by 13.
Outside of LeBron and Love, no one has really provided any sort of positive, consistent contribution. JR Smith has been atrocious, scoring four points on 16 field-goal attempts. George Hill has been invisible, tallying eight points and one assist in 62 minutes. The bench trio of Korver, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson are a combined 4-of-14 from deep and have scored 39 points on 39 shots. And defensively, the Cavs have allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions, which is even worse than their season average that ranked 29th in the NBA.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are playing elite team defense and have six players who are averaging double-digit scoring.
All-in-all, there haven’t been a lot of positive takeaways for the Cavs from the first two games. But LeBron isn’t ready to hit the panic button.
“We have an opportunity to go back home, protect home court,” he said after the Game 2 loss. “We’re going to use these days to really dive in on what needs to be done to help our ball club be successful. They did what they had to do, and that was protect home, and now it’s our time to try to do that, as well.”
During the regular season, the Cavs were 29-12 at home compared to just 21-20 away from Quicken Loans Arena, so there’s reason to believe they can bounce back and make this into a competitive series. The Celtics, meanwhile, were strong on the road at 28-13, though they are just 1-4 away from Boston during the postseason.
The Cavs are favored by six, which seems a bit high considering how much better Boston has been overall, but no matter the end result, LeBron with his back against the wall is going to be very fun to watch.
Game 4 will be Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Source: Heavy Sports