The Celtics are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010, following four appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals as recent as 2018 that all fell short. The dynasty is very much back on track for the Warriors following two dormant years as they start the final quest for their fourth NBA Championship in eight seasons.
With Game 1 scheduled for Thursday at the Chase Center, can the Warriors take the opening game for a fourth straight series this postseason? Let’s take a closer look at two plays I’m keyed in on:
Leg #1. Warriors -3.5 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
Thus far this postseason, the Warriors have won each opening game by an average of 14 points per game. They now draw a Celtics team who had to make the cross-country trip on four days of rest.
While Jayson Tatum (27.1 points per game) and Jaylen Brown (22.9 points per game) have been quality in finally getting their team over the hump, their bench likely gets them in trouble in this series. For the Warriors, a trip to the finals means potentially getting back two role players in Gary Payton II (elbow) and Otto Porter Jr. (foot). Jordan Poole currently leads the Golden State bench in 18.4 points per game (good for the third-highest scorer on the Celtics).
The Celtics could sneak one out at TD Garden. But I expect Thursday to be too much for a team that is likely happy just to be here no matter what they might relay to the press.
Leg #2. Over 211.5 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Celtics’ defense is largely to thank for this relatively low total, as they just held a Heat team to 99.7 points per game over their seven-game series. What’s not accounted for is the absence of reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Tyler Herro, which caused the Heat’s offense to be largely one-dimensional and stall throughout their final four games.
With four players scoring more than 15 points per game (Curry, Thompson, Poole, Wiggins), the Warriors are a different animal when it comes to scoring, especially in the friendly confines of the Chase Center. Led by one of the best one-two scoring punches in NBA history in Curry and Thompson, I like for them to pour it on Thursday night.
Total Odds: +264 at DK Sportsbook
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