OK, so I’m not expecting the crowd at TD Garden to be clanking glass bottles before tip-off or for a street fight to break out on the hardwood, but it will be a rabid crowd as the Boston Celtics host their first NBA Finals game since 2010. Now that I think about Marcus Smart’s comments regarding Draymond Green’s physical play in Game 2, maybe we shouldn’t assume the latter.
“I mean, you respond to fire with fire, right? We’ve just got to turn around and do the same thing,” Smart said at a press conference on Tuesday. “If he’s going to come in here and try to be physical, this is our house, and we’ve got to protect it.”
Are you not excited yet? While the Greens and Smarts of this series will provide some “what just happened” moments, the NBA Finals has no shortage of talented, skilled players who will bring you out of your seat with their play.
There have been 70 three-pointers made through two games. Both teams are playing a wide-open brand of basketball, not just running and gunning, but with ball movement and unselfishness to find the open man.
I’m expecting a perfect blend of modern free-flowing basketball with a bit of 90s roughneck style mixed in. Think Pat Riley’s Showtime with a side of his 90s New York Knicks.
Game 3 Prop
Halftime/Final – Golden State Warriors/Boston Celtics (+500)
Playing at home, one can certainly imagine the Celtics breathing fire at the outset and Golden State looking to weather an early onslaught. Should Golden State avoid an early Boston run, I like the Warriors’ chances to head to the break with the lead. During the regular season, the Celtics averaged 54.1 points in the first half, 25th league-wide, while Golden State averaged 54.5 points on the road in the first 24 minutes.
Though a great deal has been written about the Warriors’ ownership of the third quarter in their playoff history (including this series), it is essential to note that during the regular season, Golden State and Boston ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in third-quarter scoring, with a mere 0.2 points per game separating them. In my view, Boston ekes out a victory in Game 3, rallying in the second half.
For more picks from our lead NBA analyst Paul Connor check out his props column.
NBA Finals MVP Betting Insights
Zack Cook here to deliver the Betting Insights…
With the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics splitting Games 1 and 2, Stephen Curry still boasts the best odds to win NBA Finals MVP… Curry is the current odds on favorite to take home the award at +100, with Jayson Tatum not far behind at +135…
With so much series left to play, it’s hard to say that this is just a two-horse race, but the closest competitor is Jaylen Brown of the Celtics at +750… Curry, Tatum, and Brown are the only three players in this series who own odds above +1000. Curry opened the NBA Playoffs with odds of +1400, while Tatum was just above him at +1200 and Brown at +2500…
Al Horford played a vital role in Boston’s Game 1 comeback and has since seen his odds rise to +4000, the fourth-highest remaining price…
Curry is the only player that boasts a ticket percentage above 10%, where he currently owns 15.9% of tickets. Tatum has the second-highest ticket count at 9.4%, followed by Klay Thompson at 9.1%… In terms of the handle percentages, Curry has seen a lot of the money backing him, boasting 31.3% of the handle, compared to the second-highest number of 13.9% from Tatum. Klay Thompson has the third-highest handle of the remaining players at 6.2%.
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