The Celtics will host Recreation 1 of their first spherical sequence on April fifteenth at 3:30 pm at TD Backyard. Who will share the parquet flooring with them on Saturday continues to be up within the air. The primary sport of the play-in match pits the Miami Warmth and Atlanta Hawks within the #7 vs. #8 matchup, with the winner heading to Boston this weekend and the loser heading residence for an additional probability to face the Milwaukee Bucks in Spherical 1.
Final spring, Miami dispatched of Atlanta rapidly in a gents’s sweep 4-1. Each groups had been banged up, however in the long run, the #1 seeded Warmth used a stifling protection to smother Trae Younger (31.9 FG%, 18.4% 3FG%) and the Hawks.
Issues is perhaps completely different in 2023. The Hawks haven’t precisely soared to the identical heights that had them within the Japanese Convention Finals two years in the past, however they’ve retooled since their postseason assembly with the Warmth final yr. After firing Nate McMillan after an underwhelming 29-30 begin to the common season, new head coach Quin Snyder didn’t fare a lot better, going .500 in twenty video games. Nevertheless, since March 1st, they’ve averaged essentially the most factors per sport within the league with a 119.2 offensive ranking. They don’t essentially defend nicely, however the hottest offense coming into the playoffs has to imply one thing.
This single play-in sport is actually a contest of distinction. In South Seashore, the growing old Warmth can nonetheless defend, ending the yr ninth in defensive effectivity (112.8 factors per 100 possessions). They only haven’t been capable of rating persistently, though they completed their remaining twenty video games with a 117.8 offensive ranking. Playoff Jimmy Butler continues to be Playoff Jimmy Butler — Celtics followers know this all too nicely — and ultimately shifting veterans Kevin Love into and Kyle Lowry out of the beginning lineup might have preserved them simply sufficient for a remaining Finals push.
Based on our buddies at DraftKings, the Celtics are presently +160 to win the Japanese Convention and +320 to win The Finals. These odds might change in fact relying on who they meet within the first spherical: might a rematch with the Warmth who took them to seven video games final yr within the ECF have an effect on these odds or will a Hawks staff they crushed in all three common season video games be a mere formality?
Miami is presently a 5-point favourite on the newly-named Kaseya Heart in opposition to Atlanta on Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm EST. The Warmth went 3-1 in opposition to the Hawks this season, together with a two-game mini-series sweep again at the start of March.
Nevertheless, who you suppose will win vs. who you suppose are a greater matchup for the Celtics could possibly be two completely different solutions. Reply within the feedback part with each picks.
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