Boston looks to boot the Hawks from the postseason
- Updated: May 8, 2012
Pointspread: Atlanta -1
Total Line: 174
The first-round Eastern Conference matchup between the Boston Celtics the Atlanta Hawks will shift back to Philips Arena this Tuesday night for Game 5 of this best-of-seven series with the Celtics holding a 3-1 lead. The game is set to tip-off at 8 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Boston stumbled out of the gate with an 83-74 loss in Game 1 as a 1.5-point road underdog, but quickly righted the ship with three straight victories including a 101-79 rout this past Sunday in Game 4 as a six-point home favorite. The total stayed ‘under’ in the first two games but has gone ‘over’ in Games 3 and 4.
Rajon Rondo responded from a Game 2 suspension due to bumping an official in Game 1 with a combined 37 points, 17 rebounds, and 28 assists. Paul Pierce has also had a strong series with 93 total points despite missing time in Sunday’s game with a tweaked knee. He is listed as probable for Tuesday night.
Atlanta appeared to be physically and emotionally drained in Game 4 after losing a heart-breaker the game before with a 90-84 overtime loss as an eight-point road underdog. Shooting has been a major issue for the Hawks with the team hitting on less than 40 percent of its attempts from the field in the first three games of this series. They did shoot 40.8 percent in Game 4 but did little else right in the 22-point loss.
Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are once again going to have to carry the load in Tuesday’s game for Atlanta to have any chance to win. Johnson is leading the team in scoring with 71 points and despite missing Game 3 with an injured knee, Smith leads in rebounds with 43.
The Celtics are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 road games and 5-2-2 ATS in their last nine games as underdogs. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of their last seven games on the road.
The Hawks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 playoff games as favorites and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss. The total has gone ‘over’ in 10 of their last 12 home games as favorites.
Head-to-head, the underdog has won six of the last eight games ATS and the total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last six meetings in Atlanta.
Despite Boston’s complete dominance in Game 4, look for the Hawks to respond with a much better effort at home with their backs completely up against the wall. Atlanta 88 Boston 84
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