NBA Picks: Can Celtics Keep Up With The Home Fav Hawks In Game 5?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 3:40 PM GMT

The series heads back to Atlanta for game five and NBA odds makers have the Hawks a solid home favorite. Can Boston keep up with the home team tonight?

NBA odds makers have come out making Boston a +7 underdog like at Pinnacle Sports -105. For one of my NBA picks I will back the Celtics to keep things interesting with Atlanta even while battling through a key injury. They are deep enough to keep this game close.

 

Boston Celtics
Boston shot 42.6% from the field in game four and 33% from distance while putting 25 assists. Neither team shot particularly well in that game but the pace was pretty fast from start to finish and the three point shots were being launched all game. The fact that Atlanta did not shoot well is a good sign for Boston because this will be of course be one of the keys to them pulling off the series upset.

As well, they dominated the paint going for 52 points compared to 40 by the Hawks when that is an area for the most part that Atlanta has controlled this series. Without Bradley the Celtics have started to make the right adjustments but something that also needs to be considered is that Boston has gone through this before having Bradley out for a considerable amount of time. In fact, he has never had a full season in which he has not been injured in his five years in the NBA. Brad Stevens had a good game plan last game and I look for them to implement another good on for game five. Celtics will have a hard time winning but they can definitely stay within the number.

 

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta shot just 37% from the floor in game four and 28% from distance putting up 43 shots from beyond the arc. This is really tough matchup for the Hawks and it will be interesting to see the adjustments they make, if any, for game five. Including overtime they got up 100 shots and I thought controlled most of the game but beating Boston in Boston is not an easy task.

The issue for them now will be getting back to being efficient and more productive in the paint as they got outplayed in that area in game four as mentioned. Across the board the statistics were pretty even for the most part and I think the changes Boston made going into games three and four have had some nice results but at the same time Atlanta is a different monster at home.

However, if they plan to take care of Boston I think they will have to control the pace and tempo as opposed to getting up and down the floor which is the wheelhouse of the Celtics. If Millsap doesn’t get more help Boston has a real chance to pull the upset in my opinion as they seemed to have found a formula that works without Bradley. Expect this game to go down to the wire, and grab the points.

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Free NBA Pick: Boston +7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage