The Atlanta Hawks (1-3) face elimination against the Boston Celtics (3-1) on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, Dejounte Murray is suspended after making contact with an official last game. On the other side, Danilo Gallinari remains out for Boston. Can the Celtics advance tonight and earn much-needed rest?
Check out below for Hawks vs. Celtics predictions, odds, trends, and starting lineups.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
Prediction: Celtics -13
Dejounte Murray is a huge loss for Atlanta as across the first four games, he averaged 25.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 5.8 APG, and 2.3 SPG on an efficient 45/39/100 shooting split. He was their best perimeter defender that forced turnovers and seamlessly switched from Derrick White to Jaylen Brown to Jayson Tatum. Atlanta already couldn’t stop Boston’s offense, and Murray’s absence significantly worsens their defense.
In addition, he provided the Hawks another elite ball handler, playmaker, and scorer next to Trae Young. Now, Boston can constantly blitz Young once he steps over half-court and force others to create against multiple lengthy, disruptive defenders. They will be able to eventually find him again on the possession, but the Hawks likely initiate their offense late in the shot clock and achieve inferior shot quality as a result.
When Young rests, the Hawks won’t have an exceptional creator on the court too. They may subsequently experience massive droughts unless Young can play over 40 minutes.
The Hawks need high quality shots in order to have a chance at keeping this game close, but Boston is shutting down everything at the rim. Al Horford and Robert Williams III are superb defending around the basket, while Derrick White is the best rim-protecting guard in the NBA. Plus, the Hawks are struggling to simply drive because Smart, White, Brown, and Tatum are staying in front of ball handlers and cutters.
Atlanta ranked 7th in regular season Offensive Rating at 115.5, but this Celtics defense has held them to a 109.9 Offensive Rating, which would have ranked 28th. Meanwhile, Boston is cruising on offense and getting clean look after clean look. Overall, Boston should quickly dispatch Atlanta and take this game by 15+ points without too much trouble. The Hawks are not even close in terms of talent and depth, and Murray’s suspension only amplifies this reality tenfold.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
The Celtics are a 13-point favorite and own an unplayable -800 moneyline. Considering the talent edge, Murray’s suspension, and the fact that Atlanta is 1-8 ATS in the last nine matchups versus Boston, the large line is highly reasonable. For Atlanta’s +625 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they must win here at least 14% of the time. In other words, if this game was simulated 100 times, the Hawks would need to win 14 of them for their moneyline to be profitable.
- Hawks are 17-35 ATS in their last 52 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Hawks are 1-8 ATS in the last 9 meetings
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Boston
Which teams will win the game-determining matchups?
Hawks 3PT Shooting
Atlanta absolutely needs a scorching hot night from deep if they want to cover the spread. They are at a poor 33.8 3PT% for the series, and that drops to 32.1% sans Murray. Outside of Young, the only other potential flamethrower is Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is 11/23 so far. If both guards heat up, then the Hawks may have a chance to salvage their offense. Otherwise, a Boston blowout is extremely likely.
Trae Young Playmaking & Efficiency
Along with his three-point shooting, Atlanta requires Young to be an offensive supernova in Game 5. He must consistently shake double teams, find the open man on drives, play 40+ minutes, and score 30+ points on efficient shooting. If he fails at any of these, then it’s difficult to envision Atlanta covering.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Starting Lineups
Atlanta Hawks Injuries: Dejounte Murray (O)
Boston Celtics Injuries: Danilo Gallinari (O)