Irving’s first official return to TD Garden on Friday afternoon won’t have the same feel had fans been allowed in the building. Nonetheless, the animosity between the Celtics and Kyrie is still apparent as the relationship amongst the two sides soured rather quickly at the end of the 2017-2018 season. Both the Celtics and Nets are in better situations with the pieces that they have on their rosters currently and ultimately the bitterness between Boston and Mr. Irving will be water under the bridge eventually.
Having said all of that, with Kyrie’s Prop set at 37.5 for Points+Rebounds+Assists (PRAs), there are plenty of factors to suggest whether or not playing the over or under is the right move in this matchup with the Celtics on Friday.
In what could possibly be the best game of the 5 game slate on Christmas, the bright lights will be on Irving and Durant vs Tatum and Co. from BeanTown. Under the spotlight, Kyrie tends to play his best and I see this as a perfect opportunity for him to shine. In his first regular season action since Feb 1st, Kyrie registered 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in blowout fashion against a depleted Warriors team on Tuesday. To still manage 34 combined PRA’s in a 26 point victory is an accomplishment in its’ own right, which is why I expect Kyrie to go over the 37.5 PRAs in what should be a much closer ballgame against his former team. Kyrie started off red-hot in the game against Golden State, scoring 24 in the first half before playing sparingly in the second half due to the lead Brooklyn held.
As a side note, in Boston’s first game of the season (Wednesday vs. Milwaukee), one of the newest members of the Bucks, Point Guard Jrue Holiday, also registered 34 PRA’s, finishing with 25 Points, 6 Rebounds, and 3 Assists in a 1 point loss to the Celtics. This is not to suggest that Holiday isn’t a phenomenal player by any means but, expect one of the best players in the league, in Irving, to have no problem going over his set total of 37.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists.
PICK: KYRIE IRVING OVER 37.5 POINTS+REBOUNDS+ASSISTS (105 Points)