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NBA Picks: June 13

By Aamir Jaffer

After a wild back and forth game 4, the NBA finals is now a best of three series with both sides knotted up at two apiece. After a strong win in game 3, the Celtics had their chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and sit in the driver’s seat of the NBA Finals. Favoured with game 4 closing odds of -4, the market was ready for the Celtics to get within one win of the title. But then there’s that man…three-time NBA champion, eight-time all-star, and two-time league MVP Stephen Curry, whose plans were slightly different. The only good news (kind of) for Celtics fans after game 4 was that there will be one more NBA Finals game at the Garden.

Just when we thought we’d seen it all from Curry, the 34-year-old proceeded to post an absolute monster stat line of 43 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists. While it's clear Klay Thompson is still not his old “splash bro” self, he made the right plays at key moments and was good for 18 points with 41 minutes of playing time. Andrew Wiggins also fulfilled his role playing the highest minutes in the game (43), dropping 17 points and grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds. The recipe for the Warriors seems simple: Curry needs to be a stud backed by a somewhat strong supporting cast. While Draymond Green and Kevin Looney don’t really add value on the offensive end, the Warriors are equipped with Curry, who you could say fills both those gaps. Regardless of Curry’s outstanding play, the Celtics won two games and Steph will need help from the supporting cast if the Warriors want to capture another title.

On the other hand, the Celtics started off the game strong taking a five-point lead at the half. Production from Jalen Brown and Jason Taytum were not necessarily bad, with the duo combining for an acceptable 44 points. However, Tatum only shot 35% from the field, and admitted in his post game press conference that he needed to be better. Marcus Smart also played well with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, and Derrick White has continued to fulfil his role off the bench with 16 points. Overall, the Celtics didn’t play a bad game, but with Curry hitting shots from anywhere and everywhere, it was simply too much for the number 1 defense to handle.

On to the Bay Area for game 5, the Warriors boasted the best home record in the NBA (41-11) and the second best ATS record as the home team (31-19-2). With the best of five now becoming a best of three and the stakes getting higher, I believe this is the point where the Warriors experience will lead them to victory. Despite the Celtics proving their resiliency time and time again, the market has currently priced the Warriors as 4-point favourites. While it is still anyone’s series to win and can very well come down to game 7, I will be riding with the Warriors minus the points for game 5.

Pick: GSW -3.5 -110 (Odds via bet365)

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