Warriors vs. Celtics Odds, Game 3 Pick & Preview: Can Boston Overcome Third-Quarter Woes? (June 8)

Warriors vs. Celtics Odds, Game 3 Pick & Preview: Can Boston Overcome Third-Quarter Woes? (June 8) article feature image

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Draymond Green & Klay Thompson (Warriors)

  • The NBA Finals shifts to Boston for Game 3 between the Warriors and Celtics.
  • With the series tied at one game apiece, can the Warriors find more offense from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to guide them to a victory?
  • Jacob McKenna previews the duel and explains why he's backing the road team.

Warriors vs. Celtics Odds

Warriors Odds+3.5
Celtics Odds-3.5
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics make the cross-country trip back to Boston to square off in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night.

After a marvelous showing in the fourth quarter of Game 1, Boston was able to steal a win on the road and jump out to a 1-0 series lead. However, the Warriors stepped up their play in Game 2, outscoring the Celtics 55-38 in the second half on their way to tying the series, 1-1.

Boston has yet to lose two games in a row this postseason, but will that remain the case in Game 3, or will Golden State take a 2-1 lead?

Warriors Need More From Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

Game 2 was the bounce-back performance that Golden State needed, and it further established that its postseason experience could be what makes the difference in this series.

Stephen Curry followed up a fantastic 34-point performance in Game 1 with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists in Game 2. He proved to be a key reason why the Warriors were able to build their second-half lead and cruise to their first win of the series.

He's been the most consistent player for Golden State in this series — shooting 46% from the field and from behind the arc — despite having to pick his way through Boston's No. 1 rated defense.

However, Curry hasn't gotten too much help on the offensive end from fellow teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to begin this series.

Obviously Draymond Green impacts the game in far more ways than just scoring the basketball, but Golden State is going to need Klay Thompson to become a more reliable and efficient scorer.

Through two games, Thompson is averaging 13 points per game and shooting just 30% from the floor. Both averages are well below what's expected from the No. 2 option on this team.

Luckily, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney have all been able to fulfill their roles and step up when needed. That was a massive difference maker for the Warriors this season, and if those guys can continue to fill in the gaps, this will be a tough team to beat four times.

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Celtics Must Start Second Halves Stronger

It appeared that Boston would once again give Golden State a run for their money in the first half of Game 2, potentially sneaking out with another win as it entered halftime down just two points.

However, the Celtics' offense fell flat coming out of the locker room, which dug this team a hole that was simply too deep to get out of. In Game 2, Boston scored just 14 points in the third quarter, being outscored by 21 points in that 12-minute span.

So far in the NBA Finals, a slow start in the third quarter has been common for Boston.

The Celtics have posted an abysmal Offensive Rating of 80.9, have seen their Defensive Rating soar to 152.1 in the quarter and are shooting just over 30% from the floor. This further exemplifies their inability to get much going on both ends of the floor to start the second half.

For the series, Boston has an Offensive Rating of 108.9 and a Defensive Rating of 112.6. But having one bad quarter against one of the best all-around teams in the NBA could easily be the difference between a win or a loss.

Warriors-Celtics Pick

As we have seen all season, both Golden State and Boston are more than capable of taking over a game on the offensive end of the floor.

However, Boston's third-quarter struggles are becoming tough to overlook, and I don't think returning to its home court is going to be able to turn that around.

Boston is 5-4 overall on its home court this postseason, which gives me another reason to believe that Golden State can keep this game close. I expect Thompson to find a rhythm once again on offense, which will give the Warriors the additional boost needed to cover this spread.

Pick: Warriors +3.5 (-110)

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