Irving, Celtics not living up to market expectations

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

May 7, 2019 08:48 PM

If Kyrie Irving is going to be a New York Knick next season, New York bettors better hope he leaves the 2018-19 version of himself back in Boston. 

After getting outclassed by Milwaukee again Monday night in a 113-101 home loss, the Boston Celtics have cost backers in three straight games…

  • Boston (plus 7.5) lost at Milwaukee 123-102, missing the point spread by 13.5 points. Irving was 4 of 18 from the floor, including 1 of 5 on three-point attempts.
  • Boston (-1.5) lost to Milwaukee 123-116, missing the point spread by 8.5 points. Irving was 8 of 22 from the floor, including 2 of 8 on three-point attempts.
  • Boston (-1) lost to Milwaukee 113-101, missing the point spread by 13 points. Irving was 7 of 22 from the floor, including 1 of 7 on three-point attempts. 

Not exactly rising to the occasion. And, Kyrie was supposed to be fresh after playing only 67 of 82 regular season games. 

Of course, Milwaukee’s offense deserves a lot of the credit for those one-sided results. Giannis Antetokounmpo is close to unstoppable. Boston was a clear underdog entering the battle with the Bucks. Irving’s poor shooting didn’t cost the Celtics a series they were supposed to win. But, it did raise questions about whether or not he can run a championship caliber offense that doesn’t feature Lebron James. 

Milwaukee was favored by -8 and -7.5 in its first two home games. The number is expected to close much higher Wednesday night in Game Five because Boston’s fate seems sealed. Sharps have noticed that a few recent “towel tossers” didn’t bother to show up for potential series finales.

  • Brooklyn (plus 9) lost at Philadelphia 122-100 after falling behind 3-1.
  • Orlando (plus 11) lost at Toronto 115-96 after falling behind 3-1.
  • Detroit (plus 12) lost at home to Milwaukee 127-104 after falling behind 3-0. 

Are Boston ballers already setting up tee times? Milwaukee has every reason in the world to get this series over with to rest up for the Eastern Conference finals (and a hoped for trip to the championship round). The Celtics just lost second halves by scores of 64-47, 68-60, and 66-52. Does that sound like a team that clamps down on defense when things start to go south? 

Milwaukee’s surge has solidified its market position as Eastern favorites and potential threats to Golden State to win it all. We’ll check in again on futures prices once the conference finals are set. VSiN posted our estimate of “market” Power Ratings for you Tuesday. Worth nothing that Milwaukee is getting Power Rating and point spread respect, yet is still 7-1 against the spread so far in the postseason. 

It’s no secret that the Bucks are loaded (solid defense, strong rebounding, inside/outside threats on offense), yet they’re still cashing tickets 88% of the time in the playoffs…after clearing 60% in the regular season. 

You can’t spell Antetokounmpo without ATM!

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