NBA Playoff Preview — Game 3: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics (4/22)
Can the Boston Celtics solve their massive offensive woes in time to put themselves on the right track in the Eastern Conference playoffs? This is possibly going to be easier said than done, even as they return home to the TD Garden for Game 3 of this best-of-seven set. In fact, they are coming off an embarrassingly bad effort, as the well-schooled Atlanta Hawks are playing very good defense indeed. Friday night’s game begins at 8:05 PM ET, and even after it gets underway, those customers at BetAnySports can use Live Betting Extra to place wagers on the game as it is in progress. It’s full of excitement, for sure!
Boston showed a lot of ineptitude shooting the ball in Game 1, hitting only 23% of their shots in the first half and digging a deep hole for themselves. You’ve got to give them credit though; they staged a grand comeback in the second half before falling short 102-101. But they knew that they couldn’t get that far behind early again.
And as it turned out, their concerns didn’t really matter, as they found themselves being held to just seven points in the first quarter of Game 2. How bad was that? Well, that was the lowest first-quarter total by any NBA playoff team since they instituted the shot clock in 1954. Even as they improved a little bit throughout the game, the Celtics’ Offensive Rating for the game was just 74.1, and that is pitiful. They could do no business in the paint, getting 15 shots blocked by the Hawks, and lost 89-72.
In the basketball playoff odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Celtics are laying a short number at home:
Obviously Atlanta has some very talented people up front, especially on the defensive end. Al Horford, the All-Star center, has blocked seven shots in the first two games, and those Hawks fans who have been concerned about his minor knee injury probably don’t have to worry, as he is likely to make post. Paul Millsap, the other All-Star on the front line for Atlanta, has been doing the job on defense, as his +19 plus/minus rating shows. But he couldn’t hit the side of a barn in Game 2, making just one of his 12 shots from the field. Thankfully, Kyle Korver came through with five triples, and the Celtics are in some real trouble if he gets hot from beyond the three-point arc.
BetAnySports has priced the Hawks at -750 to win the series, as they are up two games now, and some think it could get easier for them with the probable absence of Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics’ center who could be out with a shoulder injury. Remember, they are already missing Avery Bradley, an outstanding two-way guard, who is dealing with a hamstring suffered in Game 1.
The Celtics have emerged victorious in 19 of their last 22 games at home, but interestingly enough, they have shot below 44% at the TD Garden this season. So they will have to get the job done on defense, and that is always a challenge against Mike Budenholzer’s team, which is second in the league in assists. In other words, the Hawks are able to really move the ball around, in the style of the San Antonio Spurs, for whom Budenholzer used to serve as an assistant coach.
Atlanta carries a price of +270 to get the four-game sweep at BetAnySports, you can enjoy reduced juice wagering, adding lots of value to your game, and can take advantage of a number of payment options, including the virtual currency of Bitcoin…… And remember, when it is time to get paid, these guys do it as fast as anyone in the entire industry!