Can’t get enough playoff action? Well you’re in luck as the NBA has served up two mouth-watering postseason games that will definitely whet your basketball appetite tonight. Kicking things off this evening is the pivotal Game 5 clash between the Atlanta Hawks and the Washington Wizards.
Following shortly thereafter is the Eastern Conference clash between the resurgent Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. Which teams will grab the crucial victories tonight? Read on below for a quick breakdown of these two important games and while you’re at it, you can check out our Game 1 previews of Nashville vs. St. Louis and Edmonton vs. Anaheim.
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Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards (6:00 PM ET)
Don’t count out the Hawks just yet. Atlanta put forth a tremendous performance in Game 4 to even their series with Washington at two games apiece. Seven players scored in double-figures for the Hawks in their 111-101 victory against the Wizards on Monday. That’s the first time since 1986 that the Hawks have accomplished that feat in a playoff game.
It’s back to the drawing board for the beleaguered Wizards heading into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round. For the Wizards to regain momentum in this series, they will need Markieff Morris to back up his bravado on the court. After calling Paul Millsap a crybaby, Morris managed just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field in Game 4. His frontcourt partner, Marcin Gortat, was a disappointment as well in that contest, scoring a measly two points. They will need to pick up their offense to ease the scoring pressure on Bradley Beal and John Wall who combined for 54 points in Game 4.
The Wizards are 7-3 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 home games against the Hawks.
John Wall leads the Wizards (-5.5) to an emphatic Game 5 victory.
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics (8:30 PM ET)
All the momentum is with Boston heading into Game 5 of this Eastern Conference First Round series. The Celtics have taken full advantage of Rajon Rondo’s unfortunate thumb injury, grabbing Games 3 and 4 at United Center to even the series at two games apiece. Isaiah Thomas looked like his old self in Game 4, scoring 33 points to match his Game 1 production. Gerald Green has been a revelation as well for the Celtics, averaging 18 points over the past two games.
For the Bulls to arrest their two-game slide tonight, they will need Dwyane Wade to step up his play. He scored just 11 points in Game 4. That simply won’t do for a Chicago side that’s lacking offensive firepower with Rondo out. The good news for Bulls fans is that Rondo has started practicing again and may suit up for them in Game 6. The imminent concern, though, is Game 5 and it’s up to veterans Jimmy Butler and Wade to carry the Bulls in this critical road clash. They lead the Bulls in scoring in this series, averaging 24.8 and 15.5 points per game, respectively.
The Bulls are 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 road games against the Celtics.
Boston wins but Chicago (+7.5) covers.
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