This is the fourth time that the Celtics have faced elimination in the 2022 playoffs.
Twice against the Bucks and once against the Heat, Boston was against it and came through with a win. So why not count on three of the biggest stars to put in big performances at home in Game 6 against golden state†
The Warriors lead the series, 3-2, and can capture their fourth title in eight seasons with a win over TD Garden on Thursday. Boston wants to return the series to the Chase Center for a Game 7, where it triumphed in Game 1.
My pick for the series was Celtics in seven and I’ll stick with that while it’s still in play. The only way Boston will get this far is if Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams and Marcus Smart all play well tonight.
Regular season record: 117-113-2
Play-in/play-off record: 84-82
Bet on the NBA Finals at SI Sportsbook!
Time: 9 p.m. ET | ABC
Spread: Warriors +3.5 (+100) | Celtics -3.5 (-118)
Money Line: Warriors (+140) | Celtics (-167)
Total: Under 209.5 (-110) | More than 209.5 (-110)
Stage 1: Jayson Tatum over 25.5 points
Tatum’s best game this postseason came when he was eliminated. He went for 46 points to force Game 7 with his team behind the money, 3-2, in the semi-finals. He scored 23 the next game to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, then had 26 in Game 7 against the Heat† Boston is 3-0 in knockout games this postseason and Tatum has surpassed that total twice, averaging 31.7 points in such games. His score in the final was not in line with how well he performed in the rest of the playoffs. Still, Tatum has gone over 25.5 points in three of his five games against the Warriors, including the past two. Tatum’s three-point shot falls and he’s off his best shooter of the series. Count on him at home in Game 6.
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Stage 2: Jayson Tatum over 7.5 rebounds
Tatum has been more active on the glass in the past two matches. He grabbed double-digit rebounds in Games 4 and 5 and resumed a trend of strong rebound performance that he flashed in the Heat series. Tatum went below this total in the first three games of the series, failing to get even seven in any of those games before amassed 11 and 10 boards respectively. Given his size and given his long time on the field (44 minutes in Game 5, 40.8 for the series), Tatum can certainly top this figure for the third game in a row.
Leg 3: Robert Williams 16+ points + rebounds
Williams posted his highest-scoring match of the Finals in Game 5, which made sense considering he played 31 minutes into the series. Aside from a forgettable Game 2, he was a strength for Boston on defense and also a plus on offense. He has a couple of double-digit rebound games to his name against the Warriors and he had 10 points last time. Williams has combined more than 16 points and rebounds in each of the last three games as he played more minutes and was more involved in offense. This is do-or-die for the Celtics and Williams, health permitting, will be on the field long enough for him to go over it one more time.
Stage 4: Marcus Smart over 14.5 points
Smart, like Williams, had a poor performance in the epic Boston collapse in Game 2nd. He finished with more turnovers (five) and errors (four) than points (two). For the rest of the series, however, Smart was a reliable scorer and shooter. He scored no less than 18 in the other four games and hit at least three three-pointers in each game. Smart, similar to Tatum, has appeared in previous elimination matches by scoring 21 in Game 6 against Milwaukee and 24 in Game 7 against the Heat. He’s certainly had some no-shows in the post-season, bringing his average down significantly, but even with some single-digit scoring games Smart averaged 15.8 ppg for the playoffs and 16.4 in the finals. He could very well exceed this total on three-pointers alone.
BET: Four-legged, Same-Game Parlay (+525)
- Jayson Tatum over 25.5 points
- Jayson Tatum over 7.5 rebounds
- Robert Williams 16+ points + rebounds
- Marcus Smart More than 14.5 points
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