It’s all about closing the deal in the first round for the Brooklyn Nets when they host the Boston Celtics this Wednesday for Game 4 of the series. Are we going to see Brooklyn send the Celtics packing for an early vacation? Or, will the Celtics force a Game 6?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, June 2, at 7:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (3-1, 2-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Joe Harris
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Blake Griffin
The Nets didn’t play around in Game 4 and did what they was supposed to do in scoring a 141-126 win over Boston. For most of the season, critics have been worrying about the Nets’ defense but would concede that Brooklyn has the offense to cover up those shortcomings on that side of the floor.
That’s exactly the case the Nets proved in Game 3, as they allowed nearly 130 points to Boston but shot 57.8% from the field and let Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving cook out there. Durant did most of the cooking, scoring 42 points on 14/20 shooting and has simply been unstoppable in the series.
Durant now has 139 points in the first round, the most by any player in the league through the first four games of these playoffs. Irving had 39 points, while Harden scored 23 while dishing out 18 assists. That trio is just off-the-charts unfair for Brooklyn, especially when considering that Boston is not at its full strength.
So far in the first round, the Nets are averaging 123.5 points while also shooting 41.6% from deep. The Nets have covered the spread in all of their last eight games as a favorite at home.
ROAD TEAM: Boston Celtics (1-3, 0-2 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kemba Walker (DTD)
- SG: Marcus Smart
- SF: Evan Fournier
- PF: Jayson Tatum
- C: Tristan Thompson
What now for the Celtics? Jayson Tatum can’t score 50 every game to save them, but it feels as though he’s compelled to try, with Boston dealing with injuries to key players. Jaylen Brown has long been ruled out for the rest of the season; Kemba Walker did not play in Game 4 due to a knee problem; Robert Williams is also in danger of missing Game 5 (ankle).
Tatum is averaging 30.3 points in the first round and had just scored 90 points in the last two games. The hope for Boston is that Walker will be able to play in Game 5. If not, Marcus Smart and Evan Fournier will have to work double-time.
The Celtics need to slow the pace down and limit Brooklyn’s possession. That means winning the rebounding battle, forcing stops, and cutting down on turnovers, which is very important.
The Nets are scoring 19.3 points off turnovers in this series — the most by any team in the first round. The Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog on the road.
Spread: The Celtics will put up a fight, but the Nets will ultimately overpower Boston. Take the Nets to win and the Celtics to cover +12.
Over/Under: Back at home, scoring could get even easier for the Nets. Brooklyn’s scoring alone will have this game trending over from start to finish. Take the Over 231.5.