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NBA Midweek Best: Huge Game 5s loom for Hawks and Celtics

Wed, Apr 26, 3:08pm by Staff Writer

The midweek action heads out East as the Hawks battle the Wizards and the Celtics take on the Bulls. The Hawks will be confident against the Wizards, while Isaiah Thomas has found his groove. With both series firmly in the balance, Game Five for all four sides will be crucial.

Atlanta @ Washington

Verizon Centre, Washington – Thursday April 27, 8:10am AEST

The Hawks head to Washington with momentum on their side. A win in the capital will give them the confidence to finish the job against the Wizards. Earlier in the week found a way back into the series with a dominant display.

Crucial to the Hawks’ success in game four was Dwight Howard. The eight-time All-Star finally announced himself in the series with a crucial double-double, with 16 points and 15 rebounds, while Hawks forward Paul Millsap dominated the paint with 19 points and nine rebounds.

It was the collective effort, as the Hawks had seven players in double figures to help edge out the Wizards. Veteran guard Jose Calderon even came off the bench for a 20-minute cameo with 10 points and five assists.

After bouncing the Hawks in the first two games, the Wizards have struggled to match the Hawks’ work-rate on the boards. In the loss earlier in the week Bradley Beal stepped up with 32 points, and he was well supported by point-guard John Wall with 22-points and 10 assists.

The Hawks are outsiders at $2.88 with the Wizards as favourites at $1.44.

Expect the Hawks to take advantage of Dwight Howard’s renaissance, the All-Star lived up to his reputation earlier in the week, and his playoff experience will go a long way to getting the Hawks across the line.

Momentum is everything in the playoffs and the Hawks have it in spades.

BEST BET: Hawks to win game 5 at $2.88

Chicago @ Boston

TD Garden, Boston – Thursday April 27, 10:40am AEST

The Celtics have found a way back into the series after losing the opening two games. Isaiah Thomas has found a way to breathe life into their season. He has improved with every game having dealt with the death of his sister earlier in the series.

In Game Four, Thomas was able to turn the tide for the Celtics in Chicago with 33 points. Al Horford was immense in supporting Thomas with 12 rebounds and 15 points.

For the Bulls, it was Jimmy Butler carried them with 33 points, while veteran guard Dwyane Wade was in vintage form with 11 points and six rebounds.

The Bulls have struggled over the last two games as the Celtics have grown into the series. Butler and Wade have led the line but will need more support to overcome the Celtics. And they will have to do it with Rajon Rondo. Rondo will be out for Game 5 and beyond due to a fractured thumb.

The Bulls need to get back on track with their offence after struggling with their shooting in Game 4.

The Celtics will be hard to stop at home.

The Celtics are red hot favourites for this match-up at $1.27, with the Bulls as outsiders at $3.95.

Don’t be surprised to see Thomas have another massive game and the Celtics come out and blow the Bulls way. The line -8 appeals

BEST BET: Celtics to win by more than eight – $1.95


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