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NBA Lines - A Series of Inches

Posted by Elio Masi on 5/17/2012 2:31:45 PM

NBA Lines – A Series of Inches

With the first two games of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers series being settled by a single point, Boston’s Wednesday night 107-91 victory was an uncharacteristic blowout in a series of inches. With the win, the Celts take a 2-1 series lead and will be looking to make it 3-1 on Friday, taking a strangle hold of the NBA lines series.

(39-27) Boston Celtics vs. (35-31) Philadelphia 76ers
Live from: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Tipoff: 8:00 PM ET, May 18th, 2012

The New Big Three

The biggest difference offensively for the Celtics on Wednesday night was the performance of their “New” Big 3; Pierce, Garnett and Rondo. They combined for a remarkable 74 points, 27 of which came from Kevin Garnett. Garnett was 12-17 in field goal attempts, taking advantage of every opportunity he was given. Pierce collect 24 points while Rondo scored 23 in the Celtics’ offensive blowout. If they want to make a serious run in the playoffs, their Big 3 will need to keep putting up similar numbers in order to take some pressure off of their defense, which has been incredibly strong this season and in their first two games of the series. Ranked as the number two defense in the NBA lines going into the postseason, Boston knew it was their defense that would get them to go deep in the playoffs. They’ve stepped it up in the postseason and have played tightly in their own end thus far.

Home Warriors

The Philadelphia 76ers have been turning many heads with their play in the NBA lines playoffs this year. After pulling off the huge upset series win over the Chicago Bulls and going a perfect 3-0 on home court during those six games, the 76ers have struggled early thus far in the quarterfinals on home court and will need to rebound with a strong defensive effort on Friday if they intend on tying up the series. Their defense ranked third in the NBA lines during the regular season but simply came unglued in game three. If Elton Brand, Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes can clamp it down defensively, game four should be a much closer contest.

Garnett Stepping Up

Kevin Garnett has always been an offensive threat, but except for a 36-point performance in the first round, he was relatively quiet throughout. He averaged 18.7 points per game in the first round but has stepped it up so far in round two. Scoring 27, 15 and 29 points in the first three games of the series, Garnett is currently averaging 23.7 points per game in the series. If he can keep it going against one of the NBA lines best defenses, then the Celts should make quick work of the 76ers in game four.

Elio’s Edge

With the way Garnett, Rondo and Pierce finished off last game, I wouldn't be surprised if some of that momentum carries over to game four. If it does, I can’t see how Philadelphia's 22nd ranked offense will be able to put up 100+ points. Should be a close one, but going with a 95-91 NBA lines finish for the white and green.

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