All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Go Green on the glass: It seemed that the Celtics couldn’t miss on Thursday night, and yet, Draymond Green still cruised past his rebound total as he pulled down 11 boards. Even if you want to regress his rebound rate (28.2% of Warriors boards), it’s very likely that there are more rebounds to be had in Game 2, something that should offset any natural regression. But wait, there’s more. In their 15 games following the sweep of Brooklyn, the Celtics held the rebound edge just four times. Combine that trend with the fact the Celtics were outscored in Robert Williams III‘s 28 Game 1 minutes and all trends point to there being value on the glass for the Warriors. Green’s ability to turn defensive rebounds into offensive looks makes him the Golden State target, especially if true center minutes are going to be limited by both teams.
Pass it on: Stephen Curry had five dimes in the Game 1 loss and that might have been more than he deserved. I went back to chart them and here they are: two on uncharacteristic Celtics defensive lapses, a deep triple from Otto Porter Jr. (prior to Game 1, Porter had made just 10-of-31 3s this postseason), a Klay Thompson contested 3 that Mark Jackson called “ridiculous” in the moment and a garbage-time leak out Thompson layup. Boston made very few defensive mistakes outside of leaving Curry open in that first quarter, so him picking up two assists on their mental mistakes should be viewed as fortunate and the other three are tough to count on repeating. Could they? Of course, but he needed a lot to go right to get to five assists and that still wouldn’t cash an over ticket. During his playoff career, Curry averages 3.3 shots per assist in games following a loss, a rate that is almost 11% higher than his rate in all other playoff games. Look for Curry to be aggressive in looking for his shots Sunday, something that will make reaching 5.5 assists an uphill battle.
— Kyle Soppe
Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
Sunday: Live on ABC, 8 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco
Line: Warriors (-4)
Money line: Warriors (-190), Celtics (+160)
Total: 215.5 points
BPI projected total: 226.6 points
BPI win%: Celtics (58.3%)
Ruled out: None
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play.
Notable: Underestimating the pace at home? Seven of Golden State’s past eight home NBA Finals games have gone over the total (228 points in Game 1 that had an over/under of 214).
Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 40.5 points + assists + rebounds. Tatum had 13 assists in his Finals debut, the most ever. Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas and John Stockton were all surpassed by him. Tatum shot an abysmal 18% from the field and finished with only 12 points. In spite of that, he read what the defense gave him and did an unbelievable job of getting everyone involved. The Warriors held Tatum in check, but I don’t think it will happen again. In Game 2, he should rebound in a big way. He has averaged 26.2 PPG, 6.3 APG and 6.6 RPG in the 2022 playoffs. – Eric Moody
Best bet: Andrew Wiggins over 24.5 points + assists + rebounds. A Warriors team that features Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green makes it easy to overlook Wiggins, but he delivered in Game 1. He has averaged 18.8 PPG, 2.3 APG and 6.8 RPG over the past six games. As the Warriors find themselves in a must-win situation in Game 2, he should continue to thrive. – Moody
Best bet: Derrick White over 9.5 points. I do not expect 21 points again, but we only need double-digits. He proved his value and will earn considerable minutes, after logging 32 in Game 1. The Warriors’ defense will force guys like White to make shots as opposed to allowing Boston’s stars to light them up. White will be ready again. – Doug Kezirian
Best bet: Warriors -4. The Warriors would be facing a doomsday scenario if they fall into an 0-2 hole against the Celtics with Game 3 taking place in Boston. In Finals history, home teams that lose Game 1 are 14-3 in Game 2. Further, the Warriors are 4-0 following a loss this postseason and have outscored opponents by 14.5 points per game in those wins. – Moody
Best bet: Warriors -4. It’s a small play for me, but I do have to back them in this desperate situation. Teams that lose Game 1 at home are 9-1 SU and ATS in Game 2 in the last 10 instances. Dating back multiple decades, the cover rate is around 60%. It’s a principle play. – Kezirian
Best bet: Marcus Smart over 14.5 points. Smart has made his name on defense, but he has quietly been getting his shots up in these playoffs. In the six games before injury forced him to miss Game 4 against the Heat, Smart averaged 17.5 PPG on 13.7 FGA while going over 14.5 points five times. Since recovering enough to get back to his typical big minutes, he’s averaged 18.7 PPG on 16.0 FGA in 37.0 MPG in his past three outings. I expect him to continue to take his looks in Game 2. — Andre Snellings
Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 6.5 rebounds. Tatum’s Game 1 performance was unusual from top to bottom. Most notice his (lack of) points and his (career-best) assists, but what stood out to me was how quiet he was on the glass. In his previous four meetings against the Warriors, going back to the start of the 2020-21 season, Tatum had averaged 9.8 RPG while grabbing at least eight boards in every meeting. Thus, his five in Game 1 represented a pretty significant outlier from his norm. Perhaps the scheme for this series keeps Tatum on the perimeter more than usual, but I’m going to chalk it up to his overall lack of aggression in Game 1 and project he bounces back to his rebounding norms against the Dubs for Game 2. — Snellings
Best bet: Over 215.5 points. As I pointed out when picking the over for Game 1, these two offenses are strong enough to overcome the strong defenses. Particularly when playing in San Francisco. Heading into Game 2, the Warriors are averaging 117.0 PPG at home in the playoffs, while the Celtics are averaging 109.7 PPG on the road. I don’t believe that the 228 combined points these teams scored in Game 1 are outside of the norm for what they could produce in any given game. — Snellings
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