The Cleveland Cavaliers have a good thing going for them, as they are on a nice win streak. The Boston Celtics are moving in the exact opposite direction, but they can right their ship this Monday at home, sans Jayson Tatum.
Catch this game live on Monday, January 25, at 8 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Boston Celtics (8-6, 4-2 at home)
Don’t expect Jayson Tatum to make his long-awaited return to action this Monday, as he’s already been ruled out for the Cavs game. Without Tatum, Jaylen Brown will have another heavy burden to carry, as Boston looks to end a three-game skid.
The Celtics lost at home to the New York Knicks (105-75) on Jan. 18 then got whipped in back-to-back fashion by the Philadelphia 76ers on the road on Jan. 21 (117-109) and on Jan. 23 (122-110).
The Celtics have to find their rhythm on offense again after shooting just 41.0 percent from the field and averaging 98.0 points over that three-game stretch.
In the second leg of the series with the Sixers, Brown put up 42 points on 16-of-28 shooting, while Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker combined for 39 points.
What’s missing for the most part for Boston is scoring from the frontcourt, with Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams managing only 13 points together in the last two games.
Boston is 5-4-1 against the spread in its last 10 games against Cleveland.
ROAD TEAM: Cleveland Cavaliers (8-7, 3-4 on the road)
The Cavs have sent shockwaves and a strong message across the association with their stellar play of late, particularly Collin Sexton.
Young Bull was instrumental to the success of the Cavs over their past few games, as the team went 3-0 in three games, including back-to-back wins over Eastern Conference big dogs, Brooklyn Nets.
Sexton doused the Nets with 45 points in last Thursday’s 147-135 double-overtime win then scored 25 on Saturday to help Cleveland beat Kyrie Irving and company again, 125-113. Sexton is playing out of his mind, and whether he could sustain it or not, the Cavs are going to need to provide him ample support against Boston, which plays with more cohesion defensively.
Enter Andre Drummond, who could dominate against the Celtics’ seemingly soft frontcourt that got abused by Joel Embiid inside recently. Drummond averaged 21.7 points on 54.5 percent shooting from the field and 15.3 rebounds in the Cavs’ last three games.
The total has hit the under in all of the Cavs’ last six games away from The Land.
Collin Sexton isn’t going to get to 20 points because he’ll get the Marcus Smart treatment, but the Cavs’ frontcourt should feast in this game with Andre Drummond and Jarrett Allen taking turns in punishing Boston with their rebounding, rim protection, and inside-scoring. Cleveland wins this game, 112-107.