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Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game Five – April 26, 2016

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game Five – April 26, 2016

Without question, this matchup between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks has been the most entertaining one among all the other first-round series. Both squads are currently all even at two games apiece, and the home team has not lost yet. Will that pattern continue in tonight’s Game 5? Or will the C’s finally notch one on the road?

Read on below for an in-depth look at this Eastern Conference showdown. And while you’re at it, click here for our Game 5 preview of another first-round clash between the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Game 5 Preview

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta

When: Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 8:30 PM ET

Line: Boston Celtics (+7) at Atlanta Hawks (-7); total: 199.5– view all NBA lines

TV Broadcast: TNT

Betting on the Boston Celtics

Isaiah Thomas is the main reason why the Boston Celtics are heading back to Philips Arena for Game 5 with the series knotted at 2-2.


Thomas came out huge in both home games for the C’s, racking up a career-high 42 points in Game 3 and then 28 points in the next one. But in the latter, it’s worth noting that he also received a lot of support from his teammates.

Marcus Smart provided a much-needed boost off the bench, tallying a total of 20 points with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. The pair of Evan Turner and Jonas Jerebko, meanwhile, combined for 33 points, 17 rebounds and seven dimes.

Now, the biggest thing for the Celtics heading into this evening’s pivotal Game 5 is to replicate those efforts once again. Yes, it’ll be easier said than done, but those two-straight wins at home have certainly given them momentum, and have also restored some of their confidence back.

Speaking of confidence, that’s exactly what Jae Crowder needs to search for tonight. He’s been struggling throughout the entire series, averaging just 8.0 points and is shooting horrendously from the floor (23.4%). Despite this, the C’s ought to remain patient because Crowder, who posted 14.2 points per game in the regular season, will eventually relocate his touch at any point of the series.

The Celtics’ interior defense, meanwhile, has got to tighten up. It can’t afford to let Paul Millsap or Al Horford go on another scoring spree down low. Hence, the trio of Amir Johnson, Jerebko and Crowder has got to consistently clog the driving lanes in order to prevent any easy layups or offensive rebounds.

Boston is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 road games.

Betting on the Atlanta Hawks

Kyle Korver complains at a cal

It’s pretty rare to see players score 40 or more points in a single game, and it’s even rarer to see one in a playoff game. But the Atlanta Hawks became a witness to that when their very own Paul Millsap exploded for 45 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday night in Game 4.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t take care of business down the stretch, as they were outhustled and outplayed in the overtime period. Well, you can’t really expect the Hawks to win that one especially when Millsap was practically doing all the work.

That said, the onus is on Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Kyle Korver and Kent Bazemore to redeem themselves in Game 5. All four collectively shot 23.4 percent from the field, and also committed a total of 10 turnovers.  A trip back home certainly couldn’t have come at a better time.

Teague and Horford, in particular, should be in line for a good performance. Those two were huge in the first two games of this series, averaging 18.0 and 20.5 points, respectively.

Korver, meanwhile, needs to relocate his shooting touch once again. Prior to Game 4, the sharp-shooting veteran scored 17 points each in the previous two games. Korver also went 10-of-16 from beyond the arc in that brief stretch.

On defense, the main focus for the Hawks is to stop Isaiah Thomas, who is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Boston’s offense, from finding his sweet spots. And if they succeed in doing so, Atlanta should be able to overwhelm the Celtics eventually.

Atlanta is 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in its previous 10 games at Philips Arena.

Writer’s Prediction

Hawks (-7) win it, 92-86.

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Written by Bief

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis