NBA Perfect Ten - May 29

The Boston Celtics are in while the Timberwolves are clinging to their chance at making the Finals, down 3-1 to the Mavs. Let’s dive into this week’s Perfect Ten.

Perfect Ten

Eastern Conference

#1 Boston Celtics (-225) - The Celtics took care of business in the ECF, winning four straight over the Pacers. It wasn’t easy, however, as the Celtics had to steal game one in overtime and trailed by as many as 18 points in game three before prevailing. This is an experienced, resilient bunch but they will need the injured Kristaps Porzingis (calf) to be ready to go on June 6th.

The MVP of the ECF was Jaylen Brown and was at his best when the Celtics needed him most. Along with Jayson Tatum, this will give Boston its’ biggest edge against either the Mavs or the T-Wolves. Neither Western Conference team has the type of defensive forwards that can slow down this pair in a long series.

The Celtics’ backcourt was outstanding, particularly on the defensive end, in the ECF. Holiday had the game clinching steal in game three and Derrick White led the Celtics in blocked shots in the series along with hitting the game-clinching 3-point field goal in game four. They will be heavily tasked by either Western Conference team, particularly the Mavs with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics’ bench will get a huge boost should Porzingis return with the big man slotted back into the starting lineup and giving the Celtics the advantage of being able to bring Al Horford off the bench. Horford was outstanding in the ECF including hitting a career-high seven 3-point field goals in game 3. He will provide scoring and defense to a Celtics’ bench that was thoroughly outplayed by the Pacers’ bench in the ECF.

Western Conference

#3. Minnesota Timberwolves (+1300) vs. #5 Dallas Mavericks(+230); Dallas leads the series 3-1- The Mavs blew a chance to end the series at home on Tuesday night. In doing so, they did give the Timberwolves a blueprint on how to slow them down. The T-Wolves proved most effective in the game with a small lineup. They were able to get out on shooters and make life difficult for Irving and Doncic. Irving finished with 16 points but seemed uncomfortable and Doncic scored 29 but took a ton of shots to get there.

Karl-Anthony Towns had his first breakout game in game three and pairing him with a smaller group might be the best course of action moving forward. The spacing without a heavy dose of Rudy Gobert in the paint, allowed much more room to operate for Anthony Edwards and that accounted for his best game of the series.

I think the Mavs still prevail in the series but I can definitely see this series returning to Dallas for a game six. There is a reason the Mavs were just the fifth seed in the Western Conference. They have a dynamic backcourt but this team is filled with role players that don’t always deliver in pressure moments. This series still has a chance to get interesting.

Finals MVP Odds - It is never too early to take a look at the odds for MVP in the NBA Finals so here is the initial list as we wait for the Finals pairing.

  • Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (-115)

  • Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (+270)

  • Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics (+600)

  • Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (+1500)

  • Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks (+2200)

  • Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics (+4000)

  • Derrick White, Boston Celtics (+4500)

  • Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics (+7000)

  • In parenthesis, conference odds and finals odds. Player MVP props are also in parenthesis. All odds Courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

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Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.