Gary | Fri 12/05/2017 - 01:05 EDT

Returning home doesn't guarantee a Washington win

By Eric Uribe

All odds courtesy of BetOnline.

Game 6

Over/under 216 points: Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards (-5) 

For once this postseason, Boston won without Isaiah Thomas putting the team on his back. Using huge performances from Avery Bradley and Al Horford, the Celtics took Game 5 123-101. Now Washington returns home in a do-or-die situation.

If Boston shoots lights out again like last time out, the series is likely over. In Game 5, the Celtics shot a whopping 53 percent from the field — the highest this postseason. They were sharp from the three-point line, too, hitting 16-of-33 shots.

No one was hotter than Bradley, who played perhaps the best game of his career. He finished with 29 points — marking only the third time Bradley's scored 20 or more in a playoff game — off 12-of-19 shooting.

Al Horford added 19 points, as well, quelling temporarily talk of him being overpaid. His presence was especially felt on defense, where he blocked three shots. 


Bradley and Horford's big games allowed Thomas to take a back seat. Thomas did most of his damage by dishing nine assists. He tallied 18 points, scoring under 20 points for the third consecutive game. The past three games Washington has made Thomas the center of attention on defense. That's worked until the Celtics role players finally stepped up in front of the home crowd.

Washington can't play much worse than they did in Game 5. The game was all but sealed early as the Wizards were in a 33-21 hole after the first frame and were down by as many as 26 points before intermission. It felt like every Celtic shot was uncontested during that whole stretch. 

The Wizards size advantage that helped them get a plus-26 margin on the glass during Game 3 and 4 was nonexistent Wednesday as Boston outrebounded them 48-45. That same physicality was exploited all-game long by Boston's sharpshooting and precision passing. The Celtics went on a 16-0 run in the first frame largely off fastbreak points. Winning in transition was the key to the Wizards evening this series up, before it was their undoing the last game.

On offense, they turned it over 13 times, which lead to 23 Celtic points. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal played mediocre games. They combined for 14-of-36 shooting and just 37 points. At this point, a hot and cold Beal should be expected. He's averaging 19.4 points this series — 6.4 points less than in the first round. 


The good news is Washington returns home, where Boston hasn't beaten them in four tries this entire season. Matter of fact, the Wizards are a perfect 5-0 on their court this playoffs. 

However, an elimination game is different. The bitter hate between these two teams is obvious, and Boston would love nothing more than to end Washington's season in front of their home fans. After all, the last seven times the Wizards have been ousted from the postseason, the season-ending loss came at home. Pride is every bit on the line in Game 6.

Washington's co-tenants at the Verizon Center, the Capitals, just lost Game 7 on the same home floor. With the loss, the city is starting to earn the distinction as lovable losers. We can't help but feel an impending Wizards letdown on the horizon. Maybe they escape with a win to force Game 7, but Boston won't go down easy with everything on the line. 

Pick: Boston (+5)

Total: Over 


Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Sports Betting News

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