Larry Hartstein has his finger on the pulse of the 2018 NBA playoffs and released a pick for Game
The Celtics continued their astounding postseason run with a blowout victory Sunday over the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Now, Cleveland will attempt to avoid a two-game deficit when it faces Boston again Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET) at TD Garden in the 2018 NBA playoffs.
The Celtics are one-point sportsbook favorites, with the over-under for total points scored set at 202.5.
Whose advice should you follow to find the winner of Game 2? Look no further than SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein. The veteran NBA handicapper is on a sizzling 17-7 run on his point-spread NBA playoff picks, and he’s also on a 9-2 run in games involving either Boston or Cleveland.
He upped both marks with a sterling Game 1 in which he accurately predicted a sleepwalking flat spot for the Cavaliers coming off their sweep of the Raptors. Hartstein confidently advised a strong play on the home underdog, and followers were rewarded when the Celtics posted a 108-83 victory.
Hartstein knows Cleveland had gotten the better of Boston in recent meetings, winning in five of their six previous trips to TD Garden. But, as Hartstein pointed out, these rebuilt Cavaliers don’t appear to have the same level of poise as their recent clubs boasted.
The determined Celtics wasted no time in building a 36-18 lead after the first quarter and a 61-35 edge at halftime. They repeatedly found high-percentage shots through precision in their half-court offense, both with layups and from 3-point range.
They shot 51.2 percent and had 27 assists on 43 field goals, while holding a massive 60-38 edge in points in the paint. Cleveland finished with 36 percent field-goal shooting, including 4 of 26 from 3-point range.
Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the Celtics, who were one basket shy of having all five starters in double-figures. LeBron James had 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with nine assists, seven rebounds and seven turnovers in perhaps his worst playoff showing this season.
Hartstein has a surprising take on Game 2. You can see what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Will Cleveland respond with a much-needed victory, or will Boston remain undefeated at home in the 2018 NBA playoffs and cover? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Cavaliers-Celtics you should back Tuesday from a seasoned analyst who’s hitting 82 percent of his recent selections involving these teams.