Detroit (0-1) at Cleveland (1-0)
When: Wednesday, April 20th 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
The Cleveland Cavaliers look to take control of their first round series with the Detroit Pistons when they host Game 2 on Wednesday night. The Pistons had the upset in their grasp, but surrendered a seven-point lead with 11 minutes left and lost Game 1 by the score of 106-101. Backup rookie forward Stanley Johnson, who averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds during the regular season, contributed nine points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes on Monday and coach Stan Van Gundy expressed his regret that he didn’t play Johnson over Tobias Harris (nine points in 40 minutes) down the stretch. The Pistons finished the regular season near the bottom of the league in three-point percentage, but kept themselves in Game 1 by hitting 15-of-29 from beyond the arc. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 21 points and hit four of those 3’s on eight attempts. Van Gundy was fined $25,000 by the NBA for saying during an in-game television interview that the officials give James all the calls.
The trio of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, playing in their first playoff game since round one last year, combined for 81 points in the Game 1 win. Irving had a playoff career-best 31 points, while Love had 13 rebounds to go with his 28 points. James dished out 11 assists and was ecstatic to see Irving and Love come through. “For these two guys, they were just excited to get back to this moment,” James told reporters. “These guys have been working hard – Kyrie on his knee, Kevin on his shoulder – just to get back to this moment. It was great to be out on the floor with them and for them to put together the performance that they did.” Cleveland did not get much offense from the rest of the team as six others who played combined for just 25 points. Cavaliers backup PG Mo Williams (knee) missed the opener and is doubtful for Game 2.
The three-point shot by Detroit kept Game 1 interesting, but I don’t see them repeating it twice in a row. Cleveland has a lot of confidence with their trio of James, Irving, and Love, and I see them winning this game easily.
Pick: Cavaliers -10.5