2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #3
#1 Boston Celtics at #4 Washington Wizards
Celtics lead Best of Seven Series 2-0
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Opening Line: Washington -5
Current Line: Washington -6
Opening Total: 219 1/2
Current Total: 219 1/2
Opening Money Line: Wizards -230 / Celtics +190
Current Money Line: Wizards -250 / Celtics +210
The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 series lead against the Washington Wizards with a 129-119 overtime win Tuesday night in Boston. Now the series switches to Washington for the next two games, starting with game three Thursday night.
Boston is coached by Brad Stevens. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division with a 53-29 record and are the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite losing the first two games at home, Boston beat the #8 seed Chicago Bulls in six games in the first round. The Celtics are 46-42-2 ATS and the total is 44-42-4 this season.
Washington is coached by Scott Brooks. The Wizards won the Southeast Division with a 49-33 record and are the #4 seed in the East. Washington beat the #5 seed Atlanta Hawks in six games in the first round. The Wizards are 45-44-1 ATS and the total is 57-33 this season.
The Celtics won game one 123-111 and game two 129-119 in overtime. Boston was a 5 point favorite in game two and and the total was 219. For the second straight game, Boston found themselves down double digits in the first quarter. Washington took a 42-29 after the first, but Boston cut the lead to 67-64 by halftime. The Wizards would take a 89-84 lead into the fourth. Boston forced overtime in the fourth and were completely dominant in overtime outscoring the Wizards 15-5 in the extra period.
Washington shot 46/99 from the field including 10/34 from three point range. The Wizards made 17/22 free throws. Washington had 56 rebounds, 28 assists, 18 turnovers, 7 steals and 10 blocks. The Wizards had 17 fast break points and 44 points in the paint. Boston shot 45/88 from the field including 13/36 from three point range. The Celtics made 26/34 free throws. Boston had 53 rebounds, 26 assists, 16 turnovers, 11 steals, and 7 blocks. The Celtics had 21 fast break points and 50 points in the paint.
Isaiah Thomas had 53 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. It was a very courageous performance considering he had four hours of oral surgery earlier in the day to replace a tooth he lost in game one. It was also what would have been his sister’s 23 birthday who was killed in a car accident the day before the playoffs started. Al Horford had 15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Jae Crowder had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Avery Bradley had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Terry Rozier had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. John Wall had 40 points, 13 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks for the Wizards. Markieff Morris had 16 points, 6 assists, 3 assists and 2 steals. Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat each had 14 points. Otto Porter, Jr, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Jason Smith also scored in double figures.
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Boston is outscoring teams 108-105 this season. The Celtics are #7 in scoring. Boston is shooting 45.4% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Boston make 80.7% of their free throws and are #3 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Celtics are #2 in 3 point defense and #9 in field goal defense. Boston averages 42 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.5 per game. The Celtics are #25 or worse in both categories. Boston averages 24.4 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 8.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Isaiah Thomas averages 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The MVP candidate is still grieving after the loss of his sister in a car accident the day before the Bulls series started. Avery Bradley averages 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is probable with a hip injury. Al Horford averages 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Jae Crowder averages 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Marcus Smart averages 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Kelly Olynyk averages 9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller will also get minutes in the rotation.
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Washington is outscoring teams 109-107 this season. The Wizards are #5 in scoring but #21 in points allowed in the NBA. Washington is shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. The Wizards are in the top ten in both categories. Washington makes 78.4% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 46.6% from the field and 36.4% from 3 point range. Washington is #20 or worse in both categories. The Wizards average 42.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 43 per game. The Wizards average 23.9 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.5 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.
John Wall averages 23.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 2 blocks per game. Bradley Beal averages 23.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Markieff Morris averages 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He is probable with a sprained ankle suffered in game one. Otto Porter, Jr. averages 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is probable with an elbow injury. Bojan Bogdanovic averages 12.7 points and 3.1 assists per game. Marcin Gortat averages 10.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Marcus Thornton, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Jason Smith, Ian Mahinmi. Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings will also get time in the rotation. Mahinmi is out indefinitely with a calf injury.
Boston is 6-0 ATS overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 5-0 after a win, after a cover, and after scoring 100 points ore more, 4-0 against teams with winning records, in road games, on one day rest, and against teams with winning home records, 4-1 in conference semifinal games, 3-7-1 in Thursday games, and 1-4 after scoring 125 points or more. The Celtics are 8-2 in the last 10 games against the Wizards. The over is 4-1 in this series recently.
Washington is 5-2 ATS after allowing more than 125 points, 4-11 after failing to cover, 3-10 after a straight up loss, 6-20-1 on one day rest, 1-4 in conference semifinal games, after scoring 100 points or more, and against teams with winning road records, 1-5 against teams with winning records, overall, against Eastern Conference teams and against Atlantic Division teams, and 0-4 after allowing 100 points or more. The home team is 6-0 ATS and the favorite is 5-1 ATS in this series recently.
The Wizards face a virtual must win game at home. They have looked great in the first quarter of the two games, but need to continue that for a whole game. I like the Wizards to get back in the series with a close win at home.