NBA betting tips: 3 picks for Friday's playoff games
Jack Green makes his NBA predictions for Friday night's action as Game 3 takes place in three playoff series.
Atlanta Hawks (-4) vs New York Knicks
The Knicks fought back from a 13-point deficit at half-time in Game 2 to level this series, but Atlanta has looked the better team so far and should triumph at home on Friday.
The Hawks’ starters have consistently outscored the Knicks’ so far in this series, and it took a terrible shooting night from Atlanta to give New York a chance in Game 2. The Hawks shot 36.9 per cent from the field and 27.3 per cent from three – down from their season averages of 46.8 per cent and 37.3 per cent.
Those numbers should pick up in Game 3, so Atlanta looks the team to back given that star point guard Trae Young has been comfortably the best player in this series, while Julius Randle has not been at his best for the Knicks, going 6-23 for 15 points in Game 1 and 5-16 for 15 points in Game 2.
Brooklyn Nets (-7.5) vs Boston Celtics
The Nets cruised to a 130-108 win in Game 2 to go up 2-0 over the Celtics, and it feels safe to say that this series is over.
Brooklyn has been dominant whenever Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have all been healthy, and the three superstars have produced some moments over the first two games of this series that should make the other title contenders very worried.
Not only have the Nets been incredible offensively, they’ve also held Boston to a meagre 106.5 points per 100 possessions, and the Celtics’ scoring struggles could be exacerbated by a knee injury suffered by Kemba Walker, who is listed as questionable.
Boston was a solid 21-15 at home in the regular season but there’s a clear gulf in talent between these two teams and another double-digit win for the Nets looks very likely.
Los Angeles Clippers (-2) vs Dallas Mavericks
This series has been embarrassing for the Clippers so far, considering they deliberately tanked their last few games of the regular season to avoid the Los Angeles Lakers and set up this meeting with the Mavericks, and now find themselves down 0-2.
A combination of awful defense, poor three-point shooting and a pair of fantastic performances from Luka Doncic has got LA into this hole, but the Mavericks look poised for some regression having made a ridiculous 50 per cent of their 70 threes so far.
That number is almost certainly unsustainable and if the Clippers improve upon their 32.9 per cent shooting from three they should be in a position to get back into this series.
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