We could see half of the first-round series in the NBA end on Tuesday. The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Phoenix Suns are all up 3-1 against their opponents, and they are all hoping to close out those series.
Interestingly, the teams that look likely to finish their first-round series first are all set to play each other in the second round. Denver will almost certainly take on Phoenix in the first round, while the Philadelphia 76ers are waiting to face Boston.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Boston Celtics (-12.5) vs. Atlanta Hawks
The home team in all three games on Tuesday is up 3-1, and all three of those teams are heavy favorites per the NBA betting odds. That makes sense considering there have been very few games in which the team that has won has failed to cover the basketball betting line so far this postseason. Currently, the team that has won is 26-2 ATS, so don’t be scared off by the big numbers.
Jayson Tatum wasn’t at his best in Game 4, and he failed to secure a double-double although he topped 30+ points for the first time in this series. Tatum was very good against the Atlanta Hawks in the first two games in Boston though, and that’s the type of play I expect to see in a close out game on Tuesday night.
Thankfully for the Celtics, Jaylen Brown rose to the occasion on Saturday evening. Brown had 31 points while making over 54% of his field goals, and that was enough for Boston to get the win. The Celtics ended up shooting over 51% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc.
Atlanta’s defense continues to have trouble with Boston. The Hawks are just a bad matchup against the Celtics as their guards don’t defend well, and they don’t have big men that can protect the paint. Additionally, the Hawks’ guards aren’t shooting well with Trae Young really struggling against this defense. Young is making just 42% of his field goals and 31% of his threes. De’Andre Hunter had his best game yet in Game 4 with 27 points on 64.7% shooting, but he was really bad in the three previous games in this series.
This should be a game that Boston closes out with ease. The Celtics are a superior team that was great at home this year, so look for them to cover the first half number on the NBA betting line.
Phoenix Suns (-12) vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Russell Westbrook has done a lot to rehabilitate his image over the last week. Westbrook was a punching bag for jokes for most of this season, but that has changed after he almost single-handedly kept the Los Angeles Clippers competitive against the Phoenix Suns. The Clippers were written off after Kawhi Leonard missed Game 3 and Game 4 with a knee injury, yet Westbrook thrived as the offense ran through him with Paul George also out of the lineup.
In Game 3, Westbrook had 30 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists while shooting 11 of 23 from the floor. He was even better in Game 4, as Westbrook tallied 37 points, six rebounds, and four assists while knocking down 17 of his 29 shots. If Leonard can’t play once again in Game 5, everything will run through Westbrook once more.
That being said, it’s hard to imagine Westbrook not laying an egg at some point, and Game 5 seems like a probable time for this to happen. He is still an inconsistent perimeter shooter, and Phoenix can take full advantage on Tuesday night.
The Suns look like the team to beat in the West although they are the No. 4 seed. Devin Booker has exploded with 34.8 PPG while shooting 57.1% from the floor and 43.5% from the perimeter in this series, and he has formed a devastating tandem with Kevin Durant. We have seen Durant thrive in this offense too as he seems to have found his niche since a bit of an awkward showing in Game 1. Booker and Durant will light it up against the Clips one more time in a comfortable Phoenix win.