Jayson Tatum pumped reaction

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after making a three point shot in the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Boston Celtics try to sweep the Brooklyn Nets out of the first round in Game 4 Sunday
  • Ben Simmons will not make his Nets debut with back injury
  • See the Celtics vs Nets Game 4 odds and preview and prediction below

Celtics-Nets was supposed to be the most exciting first round series in the NBA playoffs.

Instead, Boston has sucked the life out of Brooklyn, and can sweep the Nets right out of the playoffs with a win Monday night.

It all gets underway from Barclays Center at 7pm ET, in a game that can be seen live on TNT.

Surprisingly, after two straight games of putting stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a vice, Boston is somehow considered a 1-point road underdog.

Nets vs Celtics Game 4 Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Brooklyn Nets -105 +1.0 (-110) Ov 220 (-110)
Boston Celtics -115 -1.0 (-110) Un 220 (-110)

Odds as of April 24th at Caesars Sportsbook

Celtics Betting Analysis

Even though the Celtics closed their regular season in a flurry, claiming the second seed in the East, Durant and Irving were considered the great equalizers, and the real reason Brooklyn could upend the C’s.

Instead, it’s been Boston stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (and a whole lot of supercharged role players) that have dominated the matchup and the series.

Tatum was easily the best player on the floor Saturday night in Boston’s 109-103 win. He finished with a game-high 39 points, along with five rebounds, six assists and six steals.

He was also the primary defender of Durant, and his work and Boston’s overall scheme again flummoxed a player some consider the best scorer of his generation.

Brown was the centrepiece of a fourth quarter attack that pushed a 5-point Boston lead up to 12, as they scored on six straight possessions. His line was stellar as well, with 23 points, five assists and two steals.

He’s feasting in the paint, leading all players in the series with 14.7 points in the paint.

Boston’s outstanding defensive effort created a bounty of scoring. The C’s forced 21 turnovers, which led directly to 37 points. They are second in the playoffs scoring 23.7 points per game on turnovers, and 50 paint points a night, which ranks second.

Nets Betting Analysis

Usually, teams gameplan to withstand whatever Kevin Durant fires at them. This is a guy that averages 29.4 points per game on 47.6% shooting for his playoff career.

Through three games, KD is putting up just 22 points per game on 36.5% shooting from floor. His Saturday performance was so out of character that he admitted he was in his head too much.

In a virtual must-win game, Durant put up just 11 shots, finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. He had nearly as many turnovers (5) as field goal makes (6). Through the series, he has coughed up the ball at least five times each game.

Running mate Irving has not been able to pick up the slack. He also finished with 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting, including an 0-for-7 mark from three-point range. Brooklyn’s all-stars vanished in the second half, combining for just one field goal made.

Their lone bright spot is Bruce Brown, who has posted back-to-back career-high playoff scoring in Games 3 and 4. He finished with 26 points and eight rebounds.

Desperate for some sort of spark, Steve Nash even dusted off 33-year-old Blake Griffin for the first time in the series in the second half. He had eight points, but overall the Nets were minus-4 during his stretch of play.

Celtics vs Nets Pick

After flirting with the idea of unveiling Ben Simmons (back) for the first time — in a playoff elimination game, in a situation where no team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit — Brooklyn has pulled the plug, and he won’t suit up.

Even if he was rusty, Simmons could have helped even up the size disadvantage, mismatches the Celtics relentlessly seek out on offense.

 

Boston went 26-6 to close out the regular season, and ranked first in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They outscored their opponents by 14.8 points per 100 possessions. They are legit and have formed this body of work since late January.

Boston has taken everything the Nets have thrown at them and the one constant has been a defensive scheme that has kept them in games and eventually taken Brooklyn out of games.

I don’t see that changing here. Jump on this generous line before it shifts.

The pick: Celtics +1 (-110)

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