The Boston Celtics took Game 3 in exciting fashion, and will be looking to do it for their fans again tomorrow. The Nets may have something to say about that, though.
Catch the game live at 7:00 AM on Monday, May 31.
HOME TEAM: Boston Celtics (1-2, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kemba Walker (questionable)
- SG: Marcus Smart
- SF: Evan Fournier
- PF: Jayson Tatum
- C: Tristan Thompson
Jayson Tatum will be riding high after finally breaking through his shooting slump from the first two games, where he shot a combined 9 of 32 from the field. There were no such struggles in Game 3, though, and his 50-point outburst on 16 of 30 shooting helped the Celtics get a win and keep the series alive.
Down 2-1 and missing Jaylen Brown doesn’t help but these Celtics aren’t chumps. They’ve still got a fighting chance even if the Nets are the clearly more talented team.
Unfortunately for Boston, even though they’ll be playing to over 17,000 fans, none of those people can suit up for them and replace Robert Williams III, who might be out of the game. Kemba Walker, who has a bone bruise on his knee and scored just six points on 3 of 14 shooting in Game 3, still isn’t a guarantee to play, either.
Tristan Thompson, a former teammate of Kyrie Irving on the 2016 title-winning Cavaliers, has imposed his will on the boards this series, and they’ll need him to continue hoovering up rebounds to keep the Nets from getting easy second-chance attempts.
Marcus Smart, who’s been known for his pesky defense for a long time, has been showing a pretty good scoring side lately too. He’s actually their second leading scorer behind Tatum and is averaging 19.7 PPG. His five three-pointers in Game 3 were pivotal for the victory. They’ll need him to keep it up especially if Kemba Walker continues to play hurt and struggles from the floor.
The Boston Celtics are 14-22-1 ATS after a win and 5-4 ATS as the road underdog.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (2-1, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Joe Harris
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Blake Griffin
It’s crazy to think that Kyrie Irving had an off night by his standards and with his 16 points. James Harden and Kevin Durant tried to pick up the slack by combining for 80 points, but they fell a little too in love with the iso again in Game 3 compared to the better free-sharing offense that they exhibited in Game 2.
Everyone in the world knows that Irving, Harden and Durant are currently the most talented offensive trio in the NBA. However, they still need their teammates to get involved and get more touches so that they can get in rhythm and get better shot attempts.
They took 59 of the 84 field goal attempts that the Nets took, or 70% of the team’s total shots. It’s hard to imagine that they’re going to have an easy time sharing the ball considering their Big Three’s caliber. However, the same trio only took 36 of 88 (40%) of the team’s shots in Game 2 and lo and behold they won by 22 points.
The key to victory lies in a balanced offense.
The Nets are 12-12 ATS as a road favorite and 10-14 ATS after a loss.
Spread: The huge crowd in Boston has electrified their players, but I think the Nets figure this one out pretty fast and cover the -7.5 spread.
Over/Under: I’m not sure the Celtics can rely on another 50-point game from Tatum, but I think the over 228.5 still hits.