The Boston Celtics can thank the Nets for at least a good chunk of their rise to these heights, as trading Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn was an instrument of building this generation. They’ll be less grateful to them if they play a spoiler role, something that the hosts can do from time to time. The game can also show you how much more the Celtics’ youngs came along in the maturation process, and won’t lack excitement even if the biggest stars don’t dress.
Celtics at Nets
Spread: Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110) at BetDSI Sportsbook
The Celtics continue the streak even without Irving
Kyrie Irving may be their most lethal offensive weapon, but the Celtics have shown strength in numbers once again on Sunday when they’ve defeated the Toronto Raptors 97-96 without their starting playmaker. The result sums it up well for once. It’s was a tough, hard-nosed victory with less than stellar offensive performances. Still, it extended the streak to league-best 12 consecutive wins, but more importantly, infused these young Celtics with additional confidence in what they are doing and where they are heading.
The Celtics shot just 40.2 percent from the field. Smart started for Irving, but couldn’t create much with his slow drives that led Boston offense to circulate around the perimeter for the most part. The Raptors did a great job limiting operating space for Horford, who scored 21 points and had 4 assists in his first game back after a leave caused by a concussion, but was only able to take 9 shots for the game (and a couple of those came in transition). This resulted in putting the ball into the hands of some less experienced players, Brown, Rozier, and Tatum, and they’ve done an excellent job. Rozier played with a lot of desire and his relentless attacking and trying to create shots (for himself mostly) helped replace Irving’s offensive contribution. He finished 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, hitting several crucial points, including a four-point play at the end of the half, and a three right before third-quarter buzzer. These shots ignited the energy into Boston, who seemed down at times due to expending so much energy to fight with the Raptors. The effort was not futile, as the extra 18 shots the Celtics created by strong rebounding and forcing turnovers helped them overcome the Raptors who shot much better in this game (46.4%). The Celtics did a very solid job defensively on the main levers of their rivals, DeRozan, Lowry and Ibaka, but their second unit couldn’t hit shots and the Raptors bench did. In the end, the Celtics had to survive a series of officiating blunders and two DeRozan’s attempts for a win, but very much deserved to be victorious.
Irving missed the game due to some minor facial fracture and was probed for a concussion. He’s questionable for this game, so they really mean it’s not a big deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they err on the side of caution with him. Horford didn’t skip a beat, and the rest of the Celts are healthy. They play the Golden State Warriors at home on Thursday, so they might have their minds looking past this game.
Place: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 14th, 2017. 7:30 PM ET
TV Coverage: YES, NBCSB
The Nets go 2-3 on a five-game road trip, lose Russell
The Brooklyn Nets had three days off to return and recover from a fairly successful road trip in the West. They did lose in Utah without making a serious threat, but won in Phoenix and Portland, and wouldn’t be blown out in either of three losses. However, there’s no much joy in the organization, as their point guard injury woes continue – this time, it Russell, who will miss several games with a knee contusion that will require further investigation (that doesn’t sound encouraging).
D’Angelo Russell was stellar for the Brooklyn Nets in the 106-114 defeat in Salt Lake City, and has had ups and down this season. Still, had he not been forced out of the game with three minutes to go, the Nets might have completed their comeback, having trailed for the most of the game by double digits. The Nets were already without Dinwiddie, and the second unit poor play behind Whitehead’s playmaking was the one that gave up a big run to the Jazz in the second quarter. The Nets climbed within 108-104 on a pair of free throws by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (19 points) with 1:23 remaining. But after he missed and Carroll turned the ball over, the Jazz regained the comfortable lead. Aside from Russell, the Nets had very few players who really stood out. Hollis-Jefferson had 19 points, doing most of the damage on the free throw line, where he was 11-of-12. Carroll’s three triples and Booker’s usual wheeling-and-dealing got the two in double digits, but it’s was nothing special. The Nets shot 46.1 percent from the field, and yet lost as the defense couldn’t do its part – the Jazz shot 48.2 percent.
Dinwiddie and Jared Allen missed the last game, Russell got injured and Booker got back. The Nets have been extremely careful about their injured players and always wait for the player to be as close to 100% ready as possible before reinserting him into the active roster list, so it’s likely that Dinwiddie won’t be rushed even with this dire situation in the backcourt. Instead, expect Whitehead to start and play a heavy dose of minutes on Tuesday.
Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Game Trends & Prediction
The Boston Celtics were once again underestimated, being dubbed as an underdog at home, so they covered again. The NBA’s hottest team is also a moneymaker when it comes to spread betting – they are 11-2-1 overall, and 6-1 away from home. They are winning by an average of 8.2 points per game, but the most damage is done by a gritty defense, and it translates to more under scores. Overall, the Celts are 4-10 against the total points lines, and 1-6 when they play outside Boston.
Three games of ATS success was snapped in Utah, but by just a single point. It has also turned the tide of the three unders, as the line was significantly below what’s common on the Nets games. Brooklyn is 7-6 against the spread this season, 3-2 at home, and 7-5-1 on the total points deciders.
Admi-Rank: The Celtics have had injury issues recently and it slowed down their progress, but are still undoubtedly the best Eastern Conference team. The Nets are nowhere near their level, but can occasionally surprise – usually against equally bad teams.
Both sides are hit with the injuries and are scrapping to fill some holes created by absent players. At this point, it looks like the Celtics have the upper edge even if Irving decides to sit out another game (most likely scenario) – and this is probably the only way we’re going to see an acceptable price on the away team.
The books are taking the wait-and-see approach, not willing to risk any early odds with Irving status still in limbo. You are probably used to this situation by now, but let me say again – I’m offering my fair numbers here, so you would be ready as soon as the odds appear on the game day. Here they are, in both cases:
(Irving playing) – Boston -10 and over/under 214
(Irving out) – Boston -6.5 and over/under 209.5
In either case, I expect the Celtics to continue their winning streak, covering the spread.
My Pick: Celtics -6.5 (-110)
Total: (odds yet to be released)
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