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Game 6: Celtics lead series 3-2
It would seem that Atlanta has found its footing on offense, and is continuing the surge it ended the regular season with. Over the last three games of this series the Hawks have the second best non-garbage time offensive rating in the playoffs (122.2), which is a figure right in line with what they averaged to end the regular season once Quin Snyder took over (121.0).
The driving force behind this run on offense has been Trae Young, who has finally started to break out of a long postseason slump. In those three games Young has averaged 35.0 points and 12.3 assists on 46.2% shooting from the floor and 39.3% shooting from deep. The shot selection has not been great for Young, but a return home means a likely boost of production from role players, as we have seen throughout this postseason. Atlanta also gets its second best player in Dejounte Murray back on the floor.
This is a game in which I would rather be on the underdog than the favorite, but my real focus is on the total, as it has been throughout this series.
When the series began I believed this to be a series which could produce quite a bit of scoring, and that has finally started to come to fruition. The last three games have gone over the total by an average of 16.3 points per game. This is not to say this total is off by 16 points, but that the market has undervalued the effectiveness of Atlanta’s offense. Pair that with the Hawks’ inability to stop the Celitcs’ offense, which has averaged 121.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and we get a series which is 3-2 to the over through five games.
The betting market is betting this total down, with Circa as low as 230.5 as of this morning. That correlates with the line heading in Boston’s direction, because if the Celtics are winning and covering they are doing it in a similar fashion to Game 1 and Game 2. It also makes sense given this being an elimination game for Atlanta, which means a slower pace as the game goes along. I believe I’ve squeezed every bit out of these totals for this series, but still lean toward the over.
Lean: OVER 230.5