I can’t sugarcoat Game 5 — it was terrible. We’ve had our ups and downs in this series, and that was certainly a down.
But as Ted Lasso says, “Let’s be a goldfish.”
Forget Game 5 and move onto Game 6, where I, once again, like the Celtics. If they fail me this time, I’ll have no choice but to hate them, which won’t be too difficult.
Layups: 2-Unit Plays
Two-Pointers: 1-Unit Plays
Three-Pointers: 0.75-Unit Plays
Half-Court Shot: 0.5-Unit Plays
Record: 90-83-3 (+6.13 units)
Playoffs: 34-34 (+0.16 units)
Last Week: 0-4 (-3.5 units)
Celtics -3.5 (-110): Backs against the wall at home, after two straight losses. Let’s ride the C’s here. They’ve proven they are good at bouncing back after losses, and they also score more at home and get to the line more. Valuing possessions is really the name of the game after an 18-turnover showing in Game 5. If Boston can stay under 14 turnovers, they should win this game — there’s not much more analysis needed here. The Celtics are 3-0 in elimination games in these playoffs, so let’s trust history to guide us here.
Celtics Over 106.5 Points (-115): The numbers for the Celtics at home really favor this play. They average 107 points after losses in the playoffs, and they’ve averaged 108.6 points per game at home this year. The offense was bad in Game 5 (like eight points in nine minutes bad), but I don’t think we see that again. Since Jan. 1, the Celtics have largely avoided losing streaks, and they have the talent and coaching to get their offense back on track.
Jayson Tatum Over 35.5 Points/Rebounds (-120): If we’re backing a Celtics win, we have to back their superstar. Tatum has hit this over in his last two games, being helped by double-digit rebounds in each. Even if he gets seven boards, I think we can see a 30-point performance by him tonight. The student of Kobe Bryant knows he has to step up in an elimination game, as he scored 46 in Game 6 against the Bucks and had 26-10 in Game 7 against the Heat.
Celtics Team Total Over 27.5 1Q (+100): We’re predicting a hot start from Boston, so let’s go with its team total. They average 26 points per first quarter in the playoffs, which is why we’re getting a tiny bit of juice on this one. In their first home game of the Finals, they went off for 33 points in the first. This is a similar situation, so expect a hot Celtics start.