2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference First Round Game #5
#8 Chicago Bulls at #1 Boston Celtics
Best of Seven Series Tied 2-2
Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
Opening Line: Boston -7 1/2
Current Line: Boston -7 1/2
Opening Total: 202
Current Total: 203
Opening Money Line: Celtics -350 / Bulls +290
Current Money Line: Celtics -335 / Bulls +275
For the first time since 2005, the road team has won the first four games of a seven game NBA playoff series. The Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls are tied at 2-2 as the head back to Boston for game five Wednesday night.
Chicago is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Bulls finished fourth in the Central Division at 41-41 and won a tiebreaker over the Miami Heat for the last playoff spot in the East. The Bulls are 44-42 ATS and the total is 33-52-1 this season.
Boston is coached by Brad Stevens. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division at 53-29 by two games over the Toronto Raptors and are the #1 seed in the East. The Celtics are 42-42-2 ATS and the total is 41-41-4 this season.
Chicago won game one 106-102 and game two 111-97, both in Boston. Chicago point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a broken thumb in game two and hasn’t played since. Boston won game three 104-87 and game four 104-95 Sunday, both in Chicago. In game four, Boston was a one point favorite and the total was 203. Boston led 30-18 after the first quarter, and 57-46 at halftime. Chicago took a 65-63 lead with 4:35 left in the third, but Boston closed the third on a 14-5 run to take a 79-70 lead into the fourth. The Bulls never got closer than 5 points in the fourth as the Celtics held on for the nine point win to tie up the series.
Boston shot 38/82 from the field including 10/37 from three point range. The Celtics made 18/22 free throws. Boston had 42 rebounds, 22 assists, 13 turnovers, 7 steals and 4 blocks. The Celtics had 17 fast break points and 48 points in the paint. Chicago shot 32/76 from the field including 5/24 from three point range. The Bulls made 26/33 free throws. Chicago had 44 rebounds, 19 assists, 12 turnovers, 5 steals and 3 blocks. The Bulls had 9 fast break points and 48 points in the paint.
Isaiah Thomas had 33 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds for the Celtics. Gerald Green had 18 points and 7 rebounds. Al Horford had 15 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Jae Crowder had 11 points. Kelly Olynyk had 10 points off the bench. Jimmy Butler had 33 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds for the Bulls. Nikola Mirotic had 13 points and 7 rebounds. Isaiah Canaan had 13 points off the bench for the Bulls. Dwyane Wade had 11 points and 6 rebounds.
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Chicago is outscoring teams 103-102. The Bulls are #6 in points allowed and #23 in scoring this season. Chicago is shooting 44.4% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Bulls are #24 or worse in both categories. The Bulls are #6 in free throw shooting at 79.8% from the line. Opponents are shooting 45.6% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. The Bulls are #6 in three point defense. Chicago averages 46.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.2 per game. The Bulls are #3 in rebounding. Chicago averages 22.6 assists, 13 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.8 blocks per game.
Jimmy Butler averages 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Dwyane Wade averages 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Nikola Mirotic averages 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Robin Lopez averages 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.4 blocks per game. Rajon Rondo averages 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He is out indefinitely with a broken thumb. There was some talk he could return in game five, but after an x-ray he couldn’t go. Bobby Portis, Michael Carter-Williams, Jerian Grant, Paul Zipser, Denzel Valentine, and Cameron Payne will also get minutes in the rotation.
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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 series started. Avery Bradley averages 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. 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. Brown is questionable with an illness.
Chicago is 7-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 7-1 after a straight up loss, 6-1 after an ATS loss, 8-2 in road games, 7-2 after allowing 100 points or more, 11-4 on two days rest, 7-3 against teams with winning records, and 5-12 in Wednesday games. The road team is 4-0 ATS in this series. The under is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.
Boston is 5-2 ATS in Wednesday games, 8-18 after a straight up win, 6-18 on two days rest, 1-4 after a cover, 1-7 against teams with losing road records, and 1-8 at home. The over is 21-7 in Boston in this series. The favorite is 9-3 ATS in this series recently.
Chicago hasn’t been the same without Rondo. Boston lost the first two games, but it is very possible they might not lose another game in the series. I like Boston to win at home and take control of the series.
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