The Bucks had an absolutely atrocious start to the series, getting dominated at home in game 1. Giannis just couldn’t get anything consistent going offensively, finishing just 7/21 from the field. His teammates didn’t really help him out either, with the rest of the starters going a combined 8/29. Nikola Mirotic did open things up with 13 bench points and will likely see more minutes in game 2.
As predicted, the Celtics proved to be a huge step up in competition for Milwaukee, comfortably taking game 1 on the road. Kyrie Irving was again the offensive leader for this team, dropping a well-rounded stat line of 26 points, 11 assists, and 7 boards. Al Horford was dominant on both ends, dropping 20 and 10 on offence and shutting down Giannis on defence. A combined 32 points from Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward was more than enough as Boston shot 54% from the field.
Prediction: Celtics +7.5
The Celtics have been very strong as a road underdog this season and are now 11-6 ATS after their game 1 upset. The only thing that gives me pause about backing them here is just how dominant they were in game 1. I think Milwaukee comes out incredibly hard here with their season likely on the line. That said, I still think this ends up as a close one that could go either way, meaning Boston are solid value through the key number of 7.
Golden State Warriors
Despite being on minimal rest, the Warriors enjoyed a gritty and determined win in game 1. Kevin Durant was unsurprisingly the star of the show, leading the way with 35 points and 5 boards. Draymond Green was also very strong on both ends, ending just 1 assist and 1 rebound shy of a triple-double. Andre Iguodala rounded out the Hamptons 5 by making some key shots, going 6/7 from the field en route to 14 points.
It was a missed opportunity for the Rockets in game 1, who ultimately fought hard in defeat. James Harden did put up a solid 35 points and 6 assists, however he was an incredibly inefficient 9/28 from the field. Eric Gordon also had a mammoth night offensively, going 10/19 from the field en route to 27 huge points. Chris Paul added 17 points before his ejection but no other Rocket could score in double figures.
Prediction: Warriors -5.5
I don’t think the Warriors played particularly well in game 1 yet they still got the job done and largely led throughout. James Harden’s foul-drawing theatrics were definitely a bit ridiculous and Golden State looks to have him rattled yet again. While they were both questionable with injuries in game 1, both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have definite room for improvement in game 2. Combine this with another strong day from KD and I expect Golden State to really seize control of this series with a home win and cover.