This past Monday was a unique experience for Boston Celtics fans in 2022 — their team was beaten up on the glass and had their lunch taken from them after building a 19-point lead in the first quarter of an eventual 120-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Nikola Vucevic looked like a Montenegrin Shaquille O’Neal as he went for 18 points, 23 rebounds (10 offensive), and 5 assists against a Cs frontline that wasn’t up to task, before and after Grant Williams was tossed from the game for “recklessly making contact with and directing inappropriate language toward a game official,” per a league press release.
Williams will be suspended Friday night when the Celtics take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the T.D. Garden. Given the struggles against Chicago’s centers — Andre Drummond grabbed 12 rebounds himself in 15 minutes of floor time – Cleveland figures to be a nightmarish matchup.
Then again, it could be Joe Mazzulla’s first conquered obstacle following a 3-win start to his tenure as interim head coach that had many, including Hardwood Houdini, already considering the removal of his interim label.
Hardwood Houdini has your odds and a prediction for the October 24 battle between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers on NBC Sports Boston, Bally Sports Ohio, and NBA League Pass (all odds provided by Action Network):
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers odds, spread
The Celtics are 5.5-point favorites against the Cavaliers. Cleveland is a +190 underdog while Boston’s ML is set at -230.
Celtics vs. Cavaliers prediction
Cleveland is off to a nice start to their 2022-23 season, their first with Donovan Mitchell on hand as the No. 1 option. Mitchell has scored 30 points in 3 of his first 4 games in a Cavaliers uniform, and the frontcourt duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley has been holding down the fort, anchoring a defense that has given up less than 100 points during half their schedule so far.
After splitting their first 2 road tests, barely losing to the Raptors and blowing the doors off the same Bulls that bludgeoned the Celtics this past Monday, they now travel to the T.D. Garden for their first test against a proven contender.
The young Cavs are going to be punched in the mouth for the first time in 2022-23 on October 28.
Pick: Celtics -5.5 (-108)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.