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The last season’s beaten NBA Finalists and East’s number 2 seed Boston Celtics are having serious issues closing their first-round series against the stubborn Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics remain in control with a 3-2 lead, but they are heading now to Atlanta after losing at the TD Garden. The Celtics are the favourites and they will be desperate to avoid a game-7 scenario, especially with the 76ers resting for some time now and waiting patiently for the winner of this unexpectedly close matchup.
These odds from William Hill were correct at the time of writing.
Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks – Game Predictions
- 1 Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks – Game Predictions
- 2 Celtics vs Hawks Preview – Can the Hawks soar again?
- 3 Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Game Details
The Celtics are getting frustrated and they will be desperate to close this series for the second time asking. Can they improve their shooting, or at least slow down the Hawks who scored over 120 points in all of the last 3 games.
Prediction 1: Derrick White Under 0.5 Steals
White has played well so far in this series, he is Celtics’ third-best scorer, but defensively he did well only in the first 2 games and since then has been well below average.
We don’t think White will record a steal as he failed to do so in 3 of the 5 matches so far against the Hawks. In the other 2, he had just 1 each time. Also, during the regular season he had 1 steal in 3 games against Atlanta, so this backs our belief further.
Prediction 2: Over 116.5 Celtics Points (Points Alternative Option 2)
The Celtics will be determined to avoid going to game 7 and we think they will easily cover the alternative point spread for their total of 116.5. Celtics scored over 120 points in the 3 regular season games against the Hawks. They also covered the 116.5 spread in 4 of the 5 playoff clashes so far, only in game 1 of this series they were held to 112 points. All this makes us believe that the Celtics will easily cover this spread again.
Celtics vs Hawks Preview – Can the Hawks soar again?
The Hawks remain the heavy underdogs and yet they are still alive in this series and back on home court they will give it their all to force a game 7.
Boston had a solid regular season 57-25, which left them only a game behind the best record in the entire NBA. Celtics had the third-best form in the 23 games after the All-Star break (15-8).
Celtics began confidently this series and easily won the first 2 games at home. They then missed a great opportunity to go 3-0 up losing in Atlanta against a Murry-less Hawks. Celtics won game 4 though and all looked well for them to close the deal at home. Instead, an awful showing from Tatum gave the Hawks an unexpected away win.
Atlanta barely made it a .500 season (41-41) after constant ups and downs on the way. Since the All-Star break the Hawks continued to be nothing more than average at 12-11.
The form in the playoffs has picked up though. The Hawks were poor in the first 2 games of this series but they found their rhythm since. Atlanta scored over 120 points in all of the last 3 clashes, winning 2 of those. Somehow, the Hawks seem to have deciphered Boston’s defence and they are confident right now.
Celtics vs Hawks Head-to-Head Record In 2023
Celtics had no struggle running away with the wins in all 3 regular season meetings between the sides. The Hawks never found a way to slow down Celtics and conceded 120+ points in each of these 3 losses – 101-126, 125-134 and 114-120. The last of those was on the final day of the regular season when both teams rested their regulars.
However, in the first round of the NBA Playoffs things had been much tighter. Celtics won comfortably the first 2 games at home to jump to a 2-0 lead. They then split the 2 away games and went back to Boston leading 3-1 and seemingly ready to close the deal. However, awful showing from both Tatum and Brown in game 5 meant that the Hawks stole a 119-117 win and are now traveling back to Georgia full of hope and confidence.
Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Game Details
- Date & Time: Saturday, April 28, 2023, 01:30 GMT
- Venue: State Farm Arena – Atlanta, Georgia
- Where to watch the match in the UK: Sky Sports (TV), NBA Live Pass, or other live streams
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