On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets will play host to the Boston Celtics for Game 5 of their first round playoff series at the Barclays Center.
Let’s take a closer look at the top Celtics vs. Nets Game 5 player prop picks and make some predictions for this June 1, 2021 NBA Playoffs matchup.
Nets vs. Celtics Player Props for Game 5 (June 1, 2021)
The Brooklyn Nets will host the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Tuesday night with the chance to end the series on their home court. The Nets’ dynamic trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden showed up in a massive way on Sunday night, combining for 104 of Brooklyn’s 141 points. Sharpshooter Joe Harris and Bruce Brown contributed 14 points apiece en route to a 15-point victory.
For as good as the Celtics must have felt after winning Game 3, the inverse must have been true following a beatdown suffered at the TD Garden. Jayson Tatum’s 40-point performance wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the Nets’ All-Star trio. Marcus Smart (16), Evan Fournier (16), Payton Prichard (12), Aaron Nesmith (11), and Jabari Parker (10) all scored in double figures for Boston in the loss.
Will the Nets wrap up this first round series or will Boston extend it to Game 6?
Marcus Smart to Score 15+ Points (-140, FanDuel Sportsbook)
While Jayson Tatum has garnered plenty of attention and headlines for his heroic efforts to keep the Celtics relatively competitive in this series, Boston’s heart lies with Marcus Smart. When Jaylen Brown was lost for the season, it became imperative that someone step up to shoulder some of the scoring load. Smart has done just that, especially in this series.
In the first two games of this series in Brooklyn, Smart averaged 18 points on 6-13 shooting. When the series shifted to Boston, Smart ramped up his efficiency in Game 3, racking up 23 points on 8-11 (72.7%) shooting. Although his percentages dropped in Game 4 from the field and beyond the arc at 33.3% and 22.2%, respectively, he still finished with 16 points. With his team’s season on the line, expect Smart to put up double-digit field goal attempts, including eight or more attempts from deep, while also getting to the free throw line. He’s scored at least 16 points in each game this series and appears to be poised to do the same in Game 5.
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Kevin Durant to Make Over 2.5 Three-Pointers (+145, BetMGM)
Brooklyn has an elite backcourt, including James Harden and former Celtic Kyrie Irving, but the player with the most upside is Kevin Durant. Durant’s ability to flip a game on its head by dropping high point totals, pulling down boards, and dishing out assists as the double teams collapse on him is something that few players in the league possess.
While there are props available for Durant to score over 30.5 points at -105 odds, there’s a bit of market volatility as either Irving or Durant could take a game over, reducing the likelihood that Durant goes for 31+ points. That’s not to say that there isn’t any risk in the Durant to make over 2.5 three-pointers market. Keep in mind that he only attempted two shots from deep in Game 2, however that came in just over 29 minutes of game time in a 22-point blowout win. Durant has made at least 3 three-point field goals in two straight games, including a 4-9 performance in Game 3 and 3-3 showing in Game 4. With the knowledge that they can put the Celtics away in Game 5, expect Durant to ramp up his dominance from all scoring areas, including downtown.
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Kyrie Irving to Record Over 5.5 Rebounds (+112, DraftKings Sportsbook)
When Kyrie Irving’s name is brought up, one typically thinks of his elite ball-handling, his seemingly limitless range, and his off-court social commentary. One thing that’s often overlooked is his ability to rebound, something that isn’t as glamorous as a highlight-reel feed or as game-changing as a game-winning three pointer, but it doesn’t reduce the importance of the critical skill.
Irving has been an effective rebounder in his last five games dating back to the regular season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s pulled down at least six rebounds in each of his last five games, including an 11-rebound performance in Game 4. Keep in mind that in three games against the Celtics this season, Irving pulled down 6, 8, and 9 boards. It stands to reason that Irving could grab at least six rebounds for the sixth-consecutive game in Tuesday night’s contest.
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