The Brooklyn Nets will host the Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center for Game 2 of this Eastern Conference playoff matchup. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Celtics-Nets Game 2 prediction and pick.
Brooklyn was in full control in Game 1 as they secured the 104-93 victory. The Nets were able to cover the eight-point spread and the final score went well under the 233 point total. Boston's inability to put the ball in the bucket was alarming and didn't force Brooklyn to press the issue on that end of the floor. Will the Celtics find a way to bounce back and steal a win in Game 2?
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Celtics-Nets odds.
NBA Odds: Celtics-Nets Odds
Boston Celtics +9.5 (-113)
Brooklyn Nets -9.5 (-107)
Over 227 Points (-110)
Under 227 Points (-110)
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
The Celtics had all sorts of problems in Game 1 against the Nets and it's surprising that the margin of victory wasn't greater for Brooklyn. It's clear that this Celtics team is dearly missing Jaylen Brown on both ends of the floor. Brown is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and his scoring output dramatically improved this season. Without him, it'll be up to Jayson Tatum to enter beast mode and carry the squad to the promise land.
Tatum shot 6-of-20 in Game 1 and finished with 22 points, which he'll likely need to triple if he wants to steal a victory at the Barclays Center. Kemba Walker is the next best option and will need to improve on his 16-point performance as well. Robert Williams was a bright spot for the Celtics against the Nets with 11 points, nine rebounds, and nine blocks in a near triple-double performance.
Boston's key to victory in Game 2 will be the play of their bench, as they matchup against the Nets big three with a limited supporting cast.
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
The Nets came out of the gates a bit slow and took a few quarters to settle in. In just their ninth game together, the Brooklyn Big 3 had to shed the rust and regain chemistry as the ball-dominant scorers learn to gel. The trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden collectively shot just 5-of-20 from the field in the first half. It was a tale of two halves as they turned it on in the last two quarters, shooting 21-of-38 from the field as they pulled away.
KD led the charge against the Celtics with 32 points and 12 rebounds in a dominant double-double performance for the Nets. Kyrie was his scoring self with 29 points, while Harden ended the night with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a near triple-double performance. The one thing that Brooklyn would like to see is more output from their role players since the only other double-digit scorer in the game was Joe Harris with 10 points.
The lack of depth most likely won't hurt the Nets in this series, but they'd certainly like to see the bench turn it up as they get deeper into the postseason.
Final Celtics-Nets Prediction & Pick
The Nets defeated the Celtics by nine points in Game 1 and it took them a whole half to get things sorted out. As this club develops chemistry on the court, they will only get better and better.
The Celtics have had clear issues on the offensive end of the floor dating back to the regular season and showed disastrous signs against the Nets in Game 1. Jayson Tatum is a stud and I'm sure he will have a better game, but it just won't be enough to keep up with the Big 3. Brooklyn is one of those teams that is only going to improve as they advance through the postseason.
FINAL PICK: Brooklyn Nets -9.5 (-107)