NBA Friday Betting Preview: Boston Celtics at Houston RocketsBoston Celtics at Houston Rockets
Tip off: 8 PM EST, Friday, Dec 14
Spread: HOU -2.5
Betting Odds from Bovada
The 12-9 Boston Celtics are starting to gain steam as winners of six of their last 10 games, including their last two. Taking on James Harden and the Rockets will be a tough test to extend that winnings streak to three.
Though Harden and the Rockets are a game under .500, they are a tough 8-5 at home, and have a high powered offense led by Harden, Jeremy Lin and the emerging Chandler Parsons. Though Lin has disappointed this year, Harden is fifth in the league in scoring and Parsons is the best second rounder of the last five years—unquestionably.
Though Parsons didn’t even start at the collegiate level, he has emerged as the go-to do-everything man for the Rockets, and had 11 in the fourth quarter of their victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday (Dec. 12) night.
For the Celtics, Paul Pierce continues to play good ball even at age 35. He’s just a shade under 20 points per game in 34 minutes a night and has the third highest PER on the team behind star point guard Rajon Rondo and the ageless Kevin Garnett.
Rondo is leading the league in assists this season with 12.9 dimes per game and he’s also averaging 13.2 points per game in 38.2 minutes per night. KG, in typical fashion, is doing a great job from the center position, despite having been a forward for most of his career. Garnett is averaging 16 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game in under 30 minutes a night.
The Celtics will likely need to find some front court help, but it shouldn’t matter much tonight against the Rockets. Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik are both fine players, but neither is a great scoring threat. Yes, they can do their damage if they are left unattended to, but the primary focus in stopping this Rockets team is to focus on the perimeter efforts of Harden and Lin.
Lin had 38 points against the San Antonio Spurs sans Harden on December 8th, but when Harden returned Lin followed it up with a 10 point game against the Wizards. If these two can learn to co-exist and complement one another better, the Rockets are going to be a very dangerous team in the upcoming seasons.