New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
The New York Knicks return home looking to close out the series against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 from Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are -8 point favorites over the Celtics with an over/under point total set at 180.
Head to head, the Celtics are 19-9 ATS in the last 28 meetings in New York and 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings while the road team is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings. The Knicks are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 47-22 ATS in their last 69 home games and 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games overall. The Celtics on the other hand are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
It’s pretty safe to say that If J.R. Smith wasn’t out for Game 4, this series would be over already. Smith was suspended one game for elbowing Jason Terry in the chin late in Game 3 which resulted in the Knicks being without their No. 2 scorer in their 97-90 overtime loss in Game 4 for on Sunday. Without Smith, New York struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 34% from the field, which included going 7-30 from beyond the arc. Even with their struggles, the Knicks managed to force overtime thanks to a big second half comeback led by Carmelo Anthony’s 36 points, but it wasn’t enough to get them the series sweep they were after.
This is indeed another elimination game for the Boston Celtics tonight, but it’s just as important to the Knicks, who don’t want to head back to Boston for a Game 6. Carmelo Anthony said as much “We want to end it. We came this far, did our job at home first two games, did our job on the road, got one on the road. We’ve got the opportunity to end it here on our home court.”
At the end of the day, the Celtics just can’t score enough points without Rajon Rondo as they have finished with 78 points or less in three of their four games in this series. Not only that, in each of their four games, they have played a half where they have scored under 30 points. New York has dominated this series from the get-go and I like them to finish things tonight.
New York Knicks -8 Boston Celtics