Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Jayson Tater Tots

Thursday, May 24, 2018


The Celtics got it done on Wednesday night in Game 5, winning by a decisive score of 96-83. The game wasn’t really as close as the final score, as the Celtics opened up a 32-19 lead in the first quarter and dominated most of the game at home.

 

Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 24 points (his ninth 20-point game of these playoffs), seven boards, four assists, four steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers, Jaylen Brown added 17 points and two 3-pointers, and Al Horford (who had his seventh double-double of this postseason) showed up with 15 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer. Tatum only needs one more 20-point game to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record for a rookie. “We’re only one game away from the Finals,” Tatum said. “The playoffs bring the best out of people.” Starter Aron Baynes, who got the nod over Marcus Morris, added six points, seven rebounds and three blocks, and Terry Rozier added eight points, six rebounds, three assists, but hit just 3-of-15 shots in the win.

 

Morris was involved in an altercation with Tristan Thompson and had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, and guard Marcus Smart had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench in the win.  

 

The Cavaliers saw only LeBron James (26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) and Kevin Love, who had 14 points seven boards, two assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on 6-of-13 shooting., score in double figures. LeBron only scored two points in the fourth quarter, as the Celtics won their 10th straight game at home in these playoffs (10-0 at home). The rest of the Cleveland starters scored a total of 10 points (Tristan Thompson, George Hill, J.R. Smith), and no one off the bench scored more than eight points in Game 5. It was basically the Celtics against LeBron, and the Celtics won, as expected at home.

 

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Tristan Thompson, George Hill, and J.R Smith combined to hit just 2-of-14 shots, and only Jeff Green came through off the bench with eight points, five boards and a 3-pointer. Jordan Clarkson also had eight points off the bench, and Kyle Korver added seven points and a 3-pointer off the pine.

 

“I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is tired, worn down whatever the case may be," LeBron said. "I was still trying to make plays, put our team in position to win." I fully expect the Cavaliers to win at home in Game 6 and send this thing to a Game 7 in Boston, and I won’t be betting against LeBron James in a Game 7, regardless of where it is.

The team that wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead wins 83 percent of the time, but something tells me that this thing is going seven games, and I would not be thrilled about facing LeBron in a Game 7, regardless of where it will be (in Boston).

 

Western Conference Finals

Klay Thompson (left knee) is questionable for Thursday’s Game 5 against the Rockets, who tied their series against GSW at 2-2 on Tuesday. My guess is he’ll be out there, but if he’s not, Kevon Looney , Shaun Livingston and Nick Young would see a minutes boost. Andre Iguodala is also questionable for Game 5 with a left leg injury. and Looney is also the big winner in that instance. 



Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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