Pro Hoops on Wednesday and we will see the Brooklyn Nets travel up north to take on the Boston Celtics. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN. Currently the Odds for the game have Boston favored by 3.5 points while the total sits at 192.5.
Analysis: The Brooklyn Nets took a huge step toward grabbing home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs by demolishing the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Brooklyn, which opened a three-game lead over Chicago with five to play for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, will kick off a three-game road trip at the Boston Celtics tonight. The Nets have won two of three meetings with Boston this season, but the teams haven't played since Christmas Day. Power forward Reggie Evans has been putting on a rebounding clinic for Brooklyn in the past month, but he also has managed to sprinkle in some surprising offensive showings. Evans pulled down 24 rebounds and scored 17 points in the 104-83 victory over the Sixers. It was the 14th consecutive game with double-digit boards for Evans, who has also scored at least 14 points in four of his last seven games. Tuesday's performance marked his league-leading ninth 20-rebound game.
The Celtics are trying to hold off Milwaukee for the No. 7 seed, thereby avoiding a first-round matchup with defending champion Miami. The Heat did Boston a favor in that regard by beating the Bucks on Tuesday, giving the Celtics a three-game cushion with five to play. They still have a shot to catch Atlanta for the sixth seed, trailing by 1 1/2 games, but three of their last five are away from home, including a visit to Miami on Friday. Boston has also been receiving solid production at power forward. Brandon Bass picked up his game when Kevin Garnett was sidelined for eight games, scoring in double figures six times. Garnett returned to the lineup in Sunday's win over Washington, but Bass remained in a groove by scoring 20 points - two shy of his season high set on March 27. The Celtics are used to playing the Nets without injured PG Rajon Rondo - he missed the first meeting due to injury and was ejected from the second.
Pick: Big games usually bring the defensive intensity and I expect that here, which is why I will go with the Under in this one. These teams haven't met since Christmas day and that game put up just 169 total points, while the game before that put up just 178 points. The Under is now 8-2 the last 10 meetings, with each one of those 8 Unders putting up no more than 178 points. The Nets come in having played good defense of late, allowing just 91.5 ppg in their last 4 games overall and they have allowed just 95 ppg on the road this year. The Celtics have played good defense all year, ranking 11th in points allowed (96.4 ppg), 5th in defensive FG% (43.9%) and 2nd in 3pt defense (33.9%), plus they have allowed just 93.8 PPG on their home floor this year. Offensively both teams ae slightly below average and with two strong defensive teams on the court, in a big game, we should see no more than 185 points scored in this one.
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