at Cleveland Cavaliers (2-2) at Boston Celtics (2-2)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
8:30 PM ET
Post Season Game #17 Home Game#10
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WTAM 1100
TD GardenProbable Starters
PG: Terry Rozier ........................................ SG: Jaylen Brown
C: Al Horford
SF: Jayson Tatum ............................................ PF: Marcus Morris Celtics Reserves
Marcus Smart Injuries
Gordon Hayward (ankle) out
Daniel Theis (knee) out
Kyrie Irving (knee) out
Shane Larkin (shoulder) doubtfulHead Coach
Brad Stevens Probable Starters
PG: George Hill ................ SG: JR Smith
C: Tristan Thompson
SF: Le Bron James................. PF: Kevin LoveCavs Reserves
Larry Nance Jr
Ante Zizic Injuries
None listed Head Coach
Tyronn Lue Game Notes
The series now shifts back to the TD Garden. So far, both teams have held serve on their home court. The Celtics won Games 1 and 2 at the Garden while the Cavs won Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland. The Celtics are perfect at home so far in these playoffs and will need to stay that way if they want a chance to get to the Finals.
Both coaches will likely look to make adjustments going into this game to keep the other off balance. The biggest adjustment will need to come from the players, however. The Celtics will need to rediscover their aggressiveness and grit and energy that have been missing when they play on the road.
The Celtics are still missing Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Daniel Theis. Shane Larkin has been missing since the series against the Sixers and Brad Stevens has said that we might see him sometime in this series. It probably won't be in Game 5, however, since he is listed as doubtful for this game. The Cavs remain at full strength. Key Matchups
Marcus Morris vs LeBron James
Marcus Morris did a great job in limiting LeBron to 15 points on 31% shooting and 0-5 from beyond the arc. Since then, he has pretty much had his way with the Celtics, doing whatever he wanted to. The Celtics have tried Horford, Smart, Rozier, Brown and others to slow him but the best bet still remains Marcus Morris.
Al Horford vs Tristan Thompson
Thompson has won this matchup in the two games in Cleveland. For the Celtics to win, Al needs to step up and keep Thompson off the boards where he has given the Cavs many second chance opportunities. Al has to be more aggressive on both ends of the court.
Jaylen Brown vs JR Smith
After being basically invisible in Games 1 and 2, Smith came alive and stepped up on both ends of the court in Cleveland in Games 3 and 4. He scored 11 and 9 points, but more importantly, he played defense and made it difficult for Brown and Tatum to get into any kind of rhythm.
Celtics Bench vs Cavaliers Bench
The Celtics reserves played well in Boston but poorly in Cleveland. The Cavs reserves played poorly in Boston and well in Cleveland. This need to hold true in this game as well. The Celtics reserves need to step up and play hard and give the Celtics a boost. Hopefully the Cavs reserves will go back to struggling in front of the Celtics loud crowd at the Garden. Keys to the GameDefense
As always, defense is the key to every single game. The Celtics won Games 1 and 2 with their swarming lock down defense, holding the Cavs to 83 and 94 points. They lost Games 3 and 4 in part because they were not engaged on the defensive end and allowed the Cavs to get to the hoop at will. The Celtics MUST communicate and they have to play tough lock down defense both in the paint and on the perimeter if they want to win this game. Rebound
- Rebounding is second to defense in importance for the Celtics to get a win. Much of rebounding is effort and so the Celtics have to work hard to beat the Cavs to rebounds. The Celtics won the rebounding battle in both wins and lost it in both losses. That isn't a coincidence. The Celtics have to out-work the Cavs on the boards in order to get a win in Game 5. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics were the more aggressive team in the first two games. That changed in Cleveland in Games 3 and 4. The Celtics seemed to be passive and the Cavs were more physical and aggressive. The Celtics have to get back to playing harder and being the more aggressive team. They can't allow the Cavs to outwork them. Control LeBron's Supporting Cast
- It's almost impossible to stop a player like LeBron who gets the benefit of most of the calls and can drive and dip his shoulder into any defenders as he goes to the basket. In the first two games, the Celtics were able to stop players other than LeBron from getting open looks and from being effective. In Games 3 and 4, players other than LeBron hit baskets, rebounded and defended. That can't happen if the Celtics want to win. The Celtics must limit the Cavs role players. Move the Ball
- The Celtics get into trouble when they take quick shots and don't move the ball enough to get the defense out of position. Their assists are usually down in their losses and up in their wins. The Celtics have to move the ball and find the open man. Hero ball doesn't win games. They have to get back to moving the ball and finding the best shots. X-Factors Focus and Energy
- The Celtics lost focus and definitely lost their energy and aggressiveness in Cleveland. They have to get back to being the team that plays harder and they have to stay focused on playing Celtics basketball and carrying out the game plan. The Celtics need to come out focused and play like it is Game 7 to protect their home court. Home Game
- The Celtics have the advantage of playing at home in front of what should be another very loud crowd. The Celtics have to get motivation and energy from the crowd. Players mentioned the boost they got from the crowd in Games 1 and 2 and hopefully they will get that same boost in this game. The Cavs have the momentum but hopefully the crowd will swing it back to the Celtics. Officiating
- The officiating is always an x-factor. In some games so far the officiating was very good and they let both teams play and let some contact go both ways but didn't let it get out of hand. In some others the refs were not good and called it more one sided. We just had the Scott Foster game but still could have a Tony Brothers game coming up. Hopefully the refs will call it evenly and let them play.