Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Boston Celtics travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavs in Wednesday night’s NBA action. The Celtics come in with a record of 20-18, and have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league this season, as they have struggled to find consistency. They are still in better shape than Cleveland though, as they are poised for the postseason with Cleveland in complete disarray. The Cavaliers have not won since before the All-Star break, and hope to snap their four-game losing streak. They enter Wednesday night with an overall record of 14-24.

How much will the return of Marcus Smart benefit Celtics?

While Celtics guard Marcus Smart may not be their most elite scorer, he is the pulse of their team, as he does a ton of work without the basketball on offense and is one of the elite defensive guards in the league. Smart missed significant time with an injury in the first half of the season, and in his absence, Boston struggled mightily, specifically on the defensive end. With him now back in the rotation, we will see if the Celtics can finally figure it out and string together wins, and get back to being a contender.

Boston prepares for a Cleveland team on the second night of a back-to-back who is ice cold, having not won since before the All-Star break. They are really struggling on offense, which bodes well for them, as they have appeared lost on the defensive end all season. Smart will most likely be locked onto Collin Sexton, who is the one true offensive threat that the Cavaliers present in Tuesday night’s game, and when he is contained, usually, so are the Cavaliers as a whole.

Have we seen the last of Kevin Love as an impact player?

Speaking of players returning from injury, the Cavs finally get Kevin Love back from his, as he missed the majority of the first half, and has not been mentioned much regarding the Cleveland moving forward. It is no secret to anyone that they are in rebuild mode, and are attempting to give their young guys time, which directly impacts the aging Kevin Love. The one-time NBA Champion and former star is not his old self any longer, and his time with Cleveland could be very well coming to an end, as the writing is on the wall with his usage.

Love now serves as more of a mentor to the young players that Cleveland hopes can be impact players in their future, but it appears that his time as an effective player has come to an end. He is, however, familiar with the Boston team that they are prepared to host on Wednesday, and could perhaps make his impact on the game in some way, shape, or form. As for the rest of the Cavaliers, they are hoping to start to figure it out and win games, as they have not won since before the All-Star break.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

I don’t particularly like how the Celtics are playing, but they have better options offensively than the Cavs by a long shot. Boston has been good against bad teams this season, and has beat who they are supposed to beat, and I think working Smart back into the mix is going to eventually pay dividends for them. I think they shut Cleveland down just enough, and win what should be a solid game for them.

Prediction:
Boston

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

There is no reason that Boston’s weapons shouldn’t absolutely shine in this ball game, as their wing scorers are a problem for anyone, and Cleveland does not defend well. That being said, Boston has had their own problems on defense this season, and I think that Cleveland will do enough to cover their end of the over in a losing effort.

Prediction:
Over