Game 3 will be played tonight in Boston. After two games played in Golden State’s venue, the series is tied 1-1.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this game. Feel free to parlay both bets at online sports betting site in order to maximize your profit.
Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics
Wednesday, June 08, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at TD Garden
Celtics Bounceback Trend
Today's game presents a superb spot in which to back the Celtics because the Celtics lost their last game.
They have proven in this year's playoffs to be an excellent bounce-back team. So far, the Celtics are undefeated after a straight-up loss.
By itself, this fact isn't too significant because the Celtics are already favored to win this game.
However, it is decisively pertinent to observe that the Celtics are winning these bounceback games by an average of 15.5 points.
Celtics BounceBack Recap During the Season
After losing Game 1 against the Bucks, Boston beat them 109-86. Following its Game 3 loss to the Bucks, Boston defeated them 116-108.
Then, the Celtics lost Game 5 to Milwaukee and followed that loss with a 13-point road victory.
Furthermore, the Celtics lost Game 1 in Miami before thrashing them by 25 points in Game 2.
Most recently, they lost Game 3 to the Heat before winning Game 4 by 20, and they followed a Game 6 loss with a four-point win in Game 7.
To speak more technically now, one thing I like about Boston's chances tonight is that a Celtic victory will require making changes the obvious necessity of which must be apparent to anybody.
When Daniel Theis played in Game 2, the Celtics lost by 12 points. Tonight, they will certainly look to phase Theis out.
This is a common response that coaches make -- Memphis did the same thing to Steven Adams in its first series and to Xavier Tillman in its second series, and I don't know why Boston would do anything differently.
After all, independently of Robert Williams III's injury status, the Celtics knew in the following series to limit Theis's minutes after he had played a lot against Brooklyn and had been more effective offensively in that series.
Expect Boston, therefore, to implement tighter rotations tonight.
The Problem of Robert Williams III
I've spoken fondly of Robert Williams III's superb defense in previous articles. But his offense is causing problems that outweigh his defensive contributions.
Namely, the Celtics' offensive rating is uniquely low when he is on the court. Broadly speaking, his biggest problem is his lack of versatility. He cannot shoot threes.
Because he is impotent from behind the arc, he can't space the floor. His predictable inclination to lurk near the basket makes him easier to guard.
Robert Williams III Listed as Questionable
It might seem a bit misleading to say that Golden State more easily clogs the lane when Williams III is in the game because the Warrior perimeter defense was also wonderfully attentive in Game 2 -- so the question is, how do the Warriors manage to defend the perimeter attentively while clogging the lane?
The answer is that the Warrior defense appears more compact because it is more easily able to help inside.
The obvious answer is to play Williams III less. Plus, he is gimpy.
He spent time lying on the floor due to his injury, which explains why he is listed as 'questionable' for tonight's game with his knee.
While Williams III is a superior defender overall, his defensive superiority is not unequivocal.
As measured by PPP (points per possession), Horford was actually vastly stronger against Golden State's favored pick-and-roll attack than Williams III.
So, playing Horford more is not simply a win for the Warrior defense. Even if it were, Horford's offensive presence is significant because, unlike Williams III, he can space the floor.
Horford shot 6-for-8 from deep in Game 1, which has positioned him to eclipse the 54.4 three-point conversion rate that he accomplished in his team's previous series against Miami.
Stronger Celtics' three-point shooting overall will help open more things inside where the Celtics will be more efficient in Game 3.
Turnovers and Key Players
Turnovers plagued Boston in Game 2. In Celtic bounceback victories, their offensive outputs are higher not only because of better three-point shooting but because they tend to reduce their turnovers.
Point guard Marcus Smart, with his characteristically sharp passing, will be decisive here.
Individually, in these playoffs, he also tends to follow single-digit scoring totals with double-digit ones.
Similarly, and what is more important, Jaylen Brown's inefficient output in Game 2 was unusual.
Another key player will be star Jayson Tatum who already proved that he is Finals-ready in Game 2.
NBA Pick: Celtics -3.5 (-110) with BetOnline
NBA Pick: Over 212.5 (-108) with BetOnline
Less Williams III entails more offense for Boston plus slightly worse defense.
Fewer turnovers mean less offense for the Warriors who will less frequently get to attack a Celtic defense that is not set, but it will also mean more scoring for Boston who will showcase more rhythm and suffer fewer wasted possessions on offense.
With stronger individual scoring efforts particularly from Smart, Horford, Brown, and Grant Williams who can shoot the three and should play more, plus Tatum's usual greatness, Boston's offense will produce a vastly stronger output in Game 3.
NBA Pick for Today
For the above reasons, expect a solid Celtic bounceback cover in a game that goes over the posted total.
- Celtics -3.5 (-110)
- Over 212.5 (-108)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.