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NBA East Top 5 Betting Report: Celtics Hitting Shots

There are less than four weeks left in the NBA regular season. The race for the top spot in the East is all but over, but very little has been decided after that. Here’s a glance at the NBA news surrounding the best teams in the conference.

 

NBA East Top 5 Betting Report: Celtics Hitting Shots
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics | Alika Jenner/Getty Images/AFP

1. Boston Celtics

The Celtics have bristled a few times at the notion that they are dominant only when the 3-pointers are falling. It’s true that they’ve won some games when the long-range shot wasn’t working, and they have the talent to survive such affairs in the playoffs. We think.

But they’re just so freakin’ dominant when the 3-pointers ARE falling that it’s hard to get away from that notion. A great example was on display at Washington on Sunday, as Boston buried 24 3-pointers en route to a 26-point road romp.

They might’ve defeated the Wizards even if the 3-point line had been wiped away, but it’s just the latest example of how easy things can look when the team is hot. And in this case, we got to see it from one of the guys down the depth chart, as Sam Hauser made 10 3-pointers for all of his 30 points while missing just three times.

It’s a head-spinning exercise to try to figure out how to defend a spaced Celtics floor when all of them can hurt you. You might move your feet well enough to stay with the skip passes and screens up top on one possession, but doing so over time without getting gassed is so difficult. 

The win over the Wizards moved Boston closer to an inevitable No. 1 seed. It can get even closer when it hosts Milwaukee on Wednesday, which should be a fun time to place a bet online at the sportsbook.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Damian Lillard recently revealed that it’s been a tough, somewhat boring season off the court in Milwaukee, where he’s apparently struggled to find his niche in the city. Giannis Antetokounmpo then said this has been his toughest season as a Buck. They’ve already made one coaching change. It’s about as inconsistent a squad as one can imagine.

Put it all together and you have a heavy dose of uncertainty as this squad gets prepped for the real thing next month. And remember, they bowed out of the real thing with a stunning first-round loss to Miami last season.

That said, Milwaukee has won nine of its last 12 and is angling toward that No. 2 seed, entering Monday with a 1½-game lead on the third-place Cavaliers. Also, eight of the Bucks’ final 13 games are at home, where they are much better. That could help them build some momentum going into the playoffs, where they remain a popular offering for your NBA bet slip.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

They remain a bit hard to figure out, scoring recent wins over Boston, Minnesota, and New Orleans while suffering losses to Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Houston. 

It’s been all about injuries all season with this crew, as virtually every regular (aside from Max Strus and Jarrett Allen) has endured some lengthy layoffs. Donovan Mitchell has endured his fair share of absences, but recently returned from a seven-game sideline stay to spark the Cavaliers in New Orleans.

Perhaps he’ll find the groove that propelled the Cavaliers during their red-hot run in January and February.

4. New York Knicks

He won’t garner any MVP votes, in all likelihood, but someone could at least make an argument for OG Anunoby as it relates to wins and losses.

The Knicks were 12-2 in the first 14 games Anunoby played with them following a trade from Toronto in December. He then hit the shelf following elbow surgery, watching New York go 8-10 without him.

And since he returned to the fold last week? Why, the Knicks are 3-0. For those of you without a calculator handy, that computes to a 15-2 mark with Anunoby in the lineup for a New York squad that still has its sights set on a No. 3 seed (or maybe a No. 2 if they get really hot). 

The Julius Randle situation remains muddy. If and when he gets back in there, this team will look even scarier once the playoffs roll around.

5. Miami Heat

Their last three wins are all against the Pistons and there were some ugly losses in between. So why are the Heat in the fifth spot? Well, we go back to them often, knowing that the moment they find a little daylight (a weekend sweep of two in Detroit is that current version) they can get on a little run.

Miami isn’t exactly healthy, but it never is. In fact, the starting lineup thrown out there Sunday in Motor City was the 32nd of the season, a franchise record. If you’re a Heat fan you just have to accept that every time the rotation feels set, one or two guys will get sick or twist an ankle. And you have to accept that some muddled rotation put together by Erik Spoelstra will help the team get out of that mess.

It took a buzzer-beater by Bam on Sunday to survive that 32nd different look and send the Heat to Philadelphia on Monday looking for a third straight win. As always, analyze the NBA news and rumors for updates on injuries to Miami players before making a wager.

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Questions of the Day

What’s the best NBA matchup on Monday, March 18?


Cleveland heads to Indiana for a matchup that will impact several teams in the East race.

Which NBA team outside the Top 5 is making waves?


Orlando is just a half-game out of fourth place in the East and has won three in a row. It has every right to a top 5 spot.

 

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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