The Cavs have some momentum after back-to-back wins. They also have LeBron James. The Celtics, overachievers throughout the postseason, haven’t lost a home playoff game all year. That’s the backdrop for what should be an enticing matchup tonight in Boston, where the Celtics and Cavs will meet in Game 5.
The game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
How to Watch Cavs vs. Celtics Game 5 Online Without Cable
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ESPN is included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
WatchESPN: You can also watch the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. You’ll need to sign in to a cable provider in order to watch these streams, but if you don’t have that, you can sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or DirecTV Now credentials to sign in and watch on ESPN’s platforms.
Cavs vs. Celtics Game 5 Preview
There’s been a lot of debate throughout the year over whether it mattered that the Cavs were so mediocre in the regular season. Here’s one way it does matter: The Cavs don’t have home-court advantage, and it could cost them the series.
That isn’t to say that the Cavs can’t or won’t win the series. Cleveland beat the Celtics in five games in the East finals last year despite Boston having the home-court edge. And the Cavs swept the top-seeded Raptors in the conference semifinals, beating Toronto twice on the road to open the series before closing it out in Cleveland.
The Celtics, though, have been more reliable at home than anyone else in the NBA. They’ve won all nine home playoff games — Games 1,2,5 and 7 against the Bucks in the first round; Games 1, 2 and 5 against the Sixers in the second round; and Games 1 and 2 against the Cavs.
Sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have the game as a pick-em — the same scenario that played out in Game 2, when Boston came from behind for a 107-94 victory. The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook lists the Cavs as -210 betting favorites — bet $210 to win $100 — to win the series.
The Celtics, who lost Kyrie Irving to a season-ending knee injury in March, have relied on a core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Terry Rozier.
The Cavs got a double-double from Kevin Love in Game 3 and one from Tristan Thompson in Game 4. But make no mistake: LeBron is carrying the Cavs on his back, as he has throughout the regular season and postseason. After a lackluster Game 1 in which he scored only 15 points, James has posted point totals of 42, 27, and 44 in Games 2 through 4, shooting 55 percent or better from the floor each time and tallying a triple-double in the Cavs’ Game 2 loss. As Game 2 demonstrated, a huge game from LeBron won’t guarantee a win. But a weak showing from James like the one Cleveland got in Game 1 might all but insure a loss.