Last Updated: 2017-04-20
The Boston Celtics face a virtual must-win on Friday night, as they visit the Chicago Bulls in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Playoff Series. The Celtics are the top seed in the East but they lost the first two games of this series at home to the eighth-seeded Bulls. Boston now has to win on Friday to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole that would be almost insurmountable. Let’s look at Game 3 and NBA Playoff picks.
The Boston Celtics visit the Chicago Bulls in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Playoff Series on Friday, April 21st with a start time of 7 pm Eastern on ESPN.
NBA Playoff Odds
Chicago -2, total 207
Celtics vs. Bulls Game 3
Not many people thought the Chicago Bulls could go into Boston and beat the top-seeded Celtics in two straight games. Chicago does have some talented players like Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo but far too often the chemistry has been lacking. That has not been the case in the playoffs, as all three players have been great. “We found a way at maybe the most important part of the season to play our best basketball,” head coach Fred Hoiberg said to USA Today. “Hopefully, we can continue with that.”
The Bulls are trying to do something that has happened just three times in NBA history, and that is win a series as a No. 8 seed against a No. 1 seed. The No. 8 seed won in 2012 when Philadelphia beat Chicago, in 2011 when Memphis upset San Antonio and in 2007 when Golden State beat Dallas.
Boston needs to turn things around on Friday night or this series is pretty much over. “I can’t sit there and sulk today,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “I can’t sit here and complain, worry or be down. The biggest thing we have to do is be forward-looking and prepare for Friday.”
Boston is dealing with the tragedy of Isaiah Thomas losing his sister who died in a car accident last Saturday. How much that has affected the team is unknown but Boston has not played well so far in this series.
The Celtics were a good road team this season, going 23-16-2 ATS while the Bulls were 21-20 ATS at home.
The Celtics are 3-10-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings in Chicago. The Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Central. The Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Atlantic. The Bulls are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
The Over is 4-1-1 in the Celtics last 6 overall. The Under is 9-3-2 in the Celtics last 14 road games. The Under is 8-3 in the Bulls last 11 home games. The Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Chicago.
NBA Playoff Picks
If you have followed the Bulls this season you probably know that they win games they are supposed to lose and lose games they are expected to win. It would be just like them to lose this game on Friday night and let Boston back into the series. I will take the points with the Celtics in this contest.