Golden State at Boston
Time: 7 PM CST (TNT)
Spread: BOS -14.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Boston Celtics have won six of its last 10 and trail No. 3 Miami by just 1/2 game in the Eastern Conference standings. It faces the West’s worst, Golden State, as heavy 14.5-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes. The game will air at 7 PM CST on TNT and the over/under is set at 224.5 points as of time of issue.
The Golden State Warriors are just 10-38 on the season and in the last place in the Pacific division. It is, thus far, the worst team in the entire Association, in fact. The Warriors have lost its last four overall and nine of its last 10.
This is an unfamiliar territory from a team that had boasted four All-Stars a season ago. Out is Kevin Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets, while the Warriors are also without sharpshooter Klay Thompson. D’Angelo Russell is a dynamite scorer, but the Warriors are also without Stephen Curry for a long period this season due to an injured wrist. Draymond Green is the only one of the Warriors top-4 players from a year ago to suit up at this point.
For as good as Russell has been, it has not been enough to carry the Dubs to victories. He is averaging 23.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, but he has had efficiency issues (evidenced by his 19.75 PER, which is good, but not outstanding really). The next on the list of active scorers though is rookie and second-round pick Eric Paschall. He has been impressive, almost like a more offensive (and of course less defensive), Draymond Green. Paschall is averaging 14.1 points, 4.5, and 1.8 assists per game.
Former Utah Jazz swingman Alec Burks should add some more scoring, but the Warriors’ issues have been mostly on the defensive end. Golden State scores just 105.3 per game. So, with a patched-up roster consisting of a lot of rookies, young talent, discarded reclamation projects (like Willie Cauley-Stein), the Warriors are simply not a team that stacks up to most of the other teams in the Association anymore
The Boston Celtics are clearly a better team without Kyrie Irving. Boston is 31-15 and is currently seeded No. 4 in the Eastern Conference.
Kemba Walker has stepped into the role of No. 1 scorer, and he is averaging 21.6 points and 5.2 assists in his first season as a Celtic. Jayson Tatum, too, has stepped it up in his third season. The former Duke swingman is averaging 20.9 points and seven rebounds per game. And if that was not enough, Jaylen Brown has taken on a much bigger scoring role in averaging just under 20 points per game. Adding to this trio, Gordon Hayward is progressing well from his surgery and should be back in the lineup soon. The C’s are locked and loaded and absolute contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Boston averages 111.2 points per game this season while continuing to play its tough brand of defense. The team shoots 45.8 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent on threes (33.5 attempts per game). Boston also is still waiting for eventual-starting center Enes Kanter to round into shape following an injury to starting the season. Kanter has shown bright flashes, but his consistency is something the C’s are trying to figure out. Daniel Theis performed admirably in his absence, but Kanter will bring a scoring punch to the 5-spot that Theis and Robert Williams III cannot.
Marcus Smart continues to function well as a jack-of-all-trades sixth man, or a “stretch-6” as he called himself in the preseason. Smart is averaging 11.4 points and 4.7 assists per game and can provide defense at all positions. The Celtics depth is functional— in the sense that its backups provide different looks and strengths than its starters. Carsen Edwards has looked good in limited minutes and will be a solid backup for Walker for the first three seasons of his NBA career. The Celtics just have a lot going on, and even without Hayward and Kanter, this team has rolled to a .750 winning percentage thus far.