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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:59 PM

Wednesday's Tip Sheet

First Round Predictions | First Round Odds | Playoff Trends

Game 2 – Pacers at Celtics – 7:05 PM EST – TNT
Boston leads series, 1-0

Indiana dropped three of four matchups with Boston this season, but looked to steal Game 1 of their first round series at TD Garden. The Pacers led the Celtics, 45-38 at halftime, but Indiana went ice-cold in the third quarter by getting outscored, 26-8, while converted only two field goals. Boston finished off Indiana, 84-74 to cash as 7 ½-point favorites and easily hit the UNDER on the total of 210 ½.

The Celtics improved to 4-0 in the last four playoff series openers, led by Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris’ 20 points apiece. Irving shot 6-of-17 in his Boston postseason debut after missing last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals with a knee injury. Both the Celtics and Pacers were miserable from the floor (Indiana 33%, Boston 36%), but Nate McMillan’s squad misfired on 21-of-27 attempts from three-point range, while Cory Joseph led the way with 14 points.

Boston ended a seven-game ATS slide at TD Garden, marking its first home cover since March 1 against Washington. The 74 points allowed by the Celtics marks the best defensive effort this season as Boston yielded 77 points to Chicago on December 8, while Brad Stevens’ team gave up 83 points twice to Cleveland in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. NBA expert Tony Mejia checks in with his take on this matchup, “It’s easy to go into Game 2 and ride the UNDER eyes-closed given the series-opening result, but keep in mind that the Pacers were only held under 90 points three times this season and bounced back to top the century mark each time they took the floor next. Since the Celtics have only had two instances where they held opponents under 100 points in consecutive games in 2019, trends favor Indiana bouncing back, but it is going to need a better game plan than it came out with to open the second half after leading at the break.”

From the Pacers’ perspective, Mejia breaks down what they need to do in order to bounce back, “Tyreke Evans will have to be more aggressive and Indiana will need Bojan Bogdanovic and Doug McDermott to shoot far better than they managed in shooting a combined 0-for-7 from 3-point range.”

Boston has won and covered in all four Game 2’s under Stevens after coming up victorious in Game 1, as all four wins came by double-digits. Indiana suffered only second ATS loss in the last 11 road playoff games dating back to 2016, while the Pacers were dealt their first postseason defeat by at least 10 points since Game 3 of the 2016 first round against the Raptors.

Game 2 – Pistons at Bucks – 8:05 PM EST – NBA TV
Milwaukee leads series, 1-0

It feels like this series was over even before it began when news broke that Pistons’ All-Star Blake Griffin was sidelined due to a lingering knee injury. Detroit didn’t have much of a chance even with Griffin available as the Pistons lost all four regular season meetings with the top-seeded Bucks, but Sunday’s Game 1 at Fiserv Forum was enough proof this series will be done quickly.

Milwaukee jumped out to a 38-18 advantage after one quarter and cruised to a 121-86 blowout over Detroit to improve to 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS the last five matchups. All five Bucks’ starters finished in double-figures, led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 24-point, 17-rebound performance. The Bucks shot 49% from the floor and knocked down 15 three-pointers, while limiting Detroit to 38% shooting as reserve Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 21 points.

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