The Boston Celtics will attempt to slow the New York Knicks momentum tonight when the two rivals meet at the TD Garden. This evening’s pivotal Game 3 clash is scheduled to get underway at 8:00pm ET on ESPN. 2013 NBA Playoff Picks have the hosting Celtics listed as a -2.5 against the spread favorite and the Over/Under set at 183.5 points. The Knicks, who lead the best of seven series 2-0, are drawing +115 odds ($100 wins $115) to knock off the Celtics.
The Celtics were competitive, at times, in games one and two against the Knicks, but they did their best work in the first half of each contest. Boston owned a halftime lead in both outings (53-49 and 48-42 respectively), but it experienced and epic offensive collapse in quarters three and four on Saturday and Tuesday.
The Celtics scored 25 second half points in their 85-78 Game 1 loss and they tallied a miserable 23 after the break in falling 87-71 in Game 2.
That will, obviously, need to change for Boston to avoid a 0-3 hole, but the only way it does is if its reserves show up. The Celtics starting lineup has produced well enough, particularly Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, but its bench has contributed a grand total of 23 points in the series.
For New York’s part, it just needs to maintain its defensive intensity and keep funneling the ball to the red hot Carmelo Anthony
(70 points in two games). That has worked well for the Knicks of late, especially against Boston, which it has five consecutive times.
Notable Trends: The Knicks are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a road dog with a spread between 0 and 3.5 points. New York is 4-1 against the spread (1-4 straight up) in their last five games as a road dog against the Celtics (Under was 4-1 in those five games).
2013 NBA Playoff Picks Knicks vs Celtics Game 3:
New York Knicks +2.5 (-110), Over 183.5 (-110), +115 (Moneyline)
Boston Celtics -2.5 (-110), Under 183.5 (-110), -135 (Moneyline)
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