Report: Cavs likely to gain big advantage heading into Game 3 vs. Celtics

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NBA insider Brian Windhorst unveiled an important update regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of Game 3 of their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, which is scheduled for Saturday night.

Dean Wade has yet to appear in a single game for the Cavaliers since the 2024 NBA Playoffs commenced due to a knee injury, but he was an effective 3-point shooter and defender for the team in the 2023-24 regular season.

Both Wade and Jarrett Allen (ribs) are questionable for Saturday night’s game. Craig Porter Jr. (ankle) and Ty Jerome (ankle) are out. As for Boston, Kristaps Porzingis (calf) is out. No other Celtics player is listed on the injury report.

Wade played in 54 of Cleveland’s 82 regular-season contests and averaged 5.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 39.1 percent from deep in his fifth NBA season.

The 27-year-old put together arguably the best game of his NBA career in a win over the Celtics in the regular season. Back on March 5, Wade dropped 23 points — 20 of which came in the fourth and final frame — on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range off the Cleveland bench in a game the Cavs won by one point without Donovan Mitchell.

Cavaliers fans have to be happy about the fact that the team managed to split the first two games of the series at TD Garden after blowing out Boston in Game 2. Cleveland beat the Celtics by a score of 118-94 sans Allen thanks to a great night from big man Evan Mobley.

Mobley totaled 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks against Boston while knocking down nine of his 15 shots from the field in what was perhaps his best playoff performance since joining the NBA.

Following Mobley’s dominant two-way showing, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said to “clear your June” if Mobley can keep up this level of play for the remainder of the series against the Celtics.

“If Evan Mobley plays like this, they can win the championship in the next three years,” Windhorst said. “If he plays like this the rest of the series, baby, clear your June.

“But he doesn’t do this that much. He’s got all of the skills. That’s why you bash your head into the wall. Y’know, that he can do this. And frankly, I think the Celtics were shell-shocked.”

While the Cavaliers are in an enviable situation heading into Game 3, Cleveland should expect the Celtics to play desperate and hungry on Saturday night, as Boston has now lost home-court advantage in this series for the time being.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.