Despite what has felt like a close series as the Celtics and Warriors have traded one blow after another, none of the five games thus far have been decided by less than 10 points as the winner has pulled away late. All things considered, both teams are as healthy as they’ve been all season long with a sparse injury report, but a tough Eastern Conference road seems to finally be catching up with a Celtics team who has been held to 97 points per less in three of their past four.
Let’s take a closer look at how Game 6 tonight in Boston could play out as the Warriors look for their fourth championship in eight seasons and the Celtics look for their record-breaking 18th.
Leg #1. Warriors ML
I suspected it going into Game 5, and even more so in Game 6, Robert Williams III surgically repaired knee had been to the key the Celtics’ early success in this series, and as it’s deteriorated, so has their chances. Playing 30 minutes in Game 5, the Celtics lacked their intensity late as their athleticism was diminished and the Warriors’ multiple scoring threats were just too much.
The Warriors have also gotten a defensive boost in the form of Gary Payton II, whose minutes have increased throughout the series as he played 26 in Game 5, picking up 15 points in the process. Winning 104-94 on Monday despite Stephen Curry going 0-9 from deep, I like another concerted effort on defense from the Warriors in this one as they appeared to figure something out in their rotations over the past two games. Smelling blood in the water, look for the Warriors to close it out tonight in Boston.
Leg #2. Jayson Tatum has 30+ Points
Averaging 26.2 points this postseason, Tatum has been the glue for a Celtics team who has found a way to get it done for nearly two months now. Unfortunately, it appears to have worn them down, but I still expect Tatum to put on one final show tonight at the TD Garden.
While I don’t expect it to be enough unless teammate Jaylen Brown has the performance of a lifetime, I do like for Tatum to get his and eclipse the 30-point mark as he channels his inspiration, Kobe Bryant, one final time in front of his home fans.
Leg #3. Klay Thompson has 20+ Points
Paging Game 6 Klay.
In the stuff of legend, Thompson has affectionately earned the nickname of coming up with one great Game 6 performance after another over the years and that’s exactly what I’m calling for tonight. Already averaging 19.4 points per game this postseason, his 39.1% from three-point bests Curry by 0.1%, and he hasn’t even had a Game 6 yet.
Over the course of his postseason career, Thompson has averaged 39.1% from three-point range, but in Game 6’s that number moves to a staggering 49.5%. With a chance to pick up their fourth championship in eight seasons and the dynasty to officially be back on track, I expect another big game from Game 6 Klay.
Total Odds: +800 at DK Sportsbook
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