By Charles Jay
Can the Washington Wizards manage to play little better defense as they approach Game 2 against the Boston Celtics? That would seem a necessity as these teams move into this 8 PM ET start at the TD Garden, and BetDNA customers can kind of "go with the flow," as they access the best live betting software on the planet to make real-time wagers.
Boston shot 51% overall in Game 1, a 123-111 victory. They hit 19 out of their 39 shots from three-point range, including eleven combined out of Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas. They did a great job digging themselves out of an early hole, as Washington went up 16-0, and they blistered the Wizards over the second and third quarters, outscoring them 71-42. From that point forward, it was kind of easy.
But there no guarantee that Game 2 will go the same way, although we must note that Washington is one of the weaker defensive teams in the NBA playoffs. And they might be getting weaker if Markieff Morris, their power forward, can't make post. Morris sprained his ankle in the opener, and has been announced as a gametime decision. This would cut into an already-thin bench, and Scott Brooks doesn't necessarily have as many opportunities to be flexible as Boston head coach Brad Stevens.
In the NBA betting odds on Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series, posted at BetDNA, home of the best live betting software on the planet, the Celtics are a five-point favorite, with a total of 217.5 points.
Simply put, Washington has to prevent Boston from shooting with impunity from beyond the arc. And they will have to figure out an answer for Al Horford, who brought his veteran presence to the table in Game 1, with 21 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Horford has a big responsibility, in that he is the big man in the lineup, and the Celtics would probably like to go small as much is possible. That, of course, could be them open in certain places, and it must be noted that Marcin Gortat, the Wizards' center, pulled down eight offensive rebounds.
A lot of metrics are equal for both teams; for example, they both had the same offensive rebound percentage, and Washington did indeed shoot 50.6% from the floor. It was really a matter of those triples falling for the Celtics. Also, Washington extracted an advantage over Atlanta in the previous series, because they were able to essentially chase Dwight Howard out of the game, because he could not deal with the Wizards in transition. That's not necessarily the same atmosphere here.
We suspect that Washington can bounce back in this one, if they can just hold the Celtics to a reasonable percentage from the perimeter. Gerald Green, who had been starting in a swingman role for Stevens, had no points and no rebounds and a -13 plus/minus rating in just seven minutes and 25 seconds of Saturday's game, so you've got to wonder if he can be effective, and if this affects the "small ball" situation going into Game 2. We are going to be grabbing the points in this one.
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