The Boston Celtics will seek revenge against the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first showdown of these teams back in February.
Catch this game live on Thursday, April 1, at 7:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Boston Celtics (23-24, 13-8 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- PG: Kemba Walker
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Grant Williams
- C: Robert Williams III
The Celtics shouldn’t be feeling buyer’s remorse, but they want to see Evan Fournier do better after the French hotshot embarrassed himself with zero points on 0-10 shooting in Boston’s 115-109 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday at home.
There’s no way but up for Fournier, so expect a better performance from him this Thursday. Also, the Celtics don’t have to deal with a force of nature like Zion Williamson against the Mavs. Boston had no answer for Williamson, who’s a more problematic player to match up with than Doncic. Boston, which lost to Dallas at home last February (110-107), is hoping for Jaylen Brown to play on Thursday.
Brown missed the Pelicans game due to a left hip issue and is currently listed as questionable. If he ends up getting sidelined again, Brown will have his starting spot temporarily covered likely by Grant Williams, while Jayson Tatum carries a heavier load. Tatum had 28 points in the loss to Dallas, while Kemba Walker scored 21. Boston is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games after a loss.
ROAD TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (24-21, 13-11 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Josh Richardson
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleber
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis back in action, the Mavericks steamrolled the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, 127-106. The win snapped the Mavs’ two-game winless streak, and gave them momentum, heading into the rematch against Boston. Doncic had 25 points, while Porzinigs chipped in 25.
It’s going to be a big plus this Thursday for the Mavs that Porzingis will be able to play. He wasn’t around in the first meeting with Boston, though Doncic and Jalen Brunson teamed up to bring down the Celtics, scoring 31 and 22 points, respectively. Dallas’ offense also got a new toy in Nicolo Melli, who made his Mavs debut in the Thunder game and scored six points in 11 minutes off the bench.
His blend of size and range gives Dallas more depth on offense. The Mavs, who are 3-1 ATS in their last four games, are eighth in the NBA with 1.155 points per possession.
With or without Brown, the Celtics will be a tough challenge for Dallas. Take the Celtics to cover (+1).
The first meeting between Dallas and Boston this season wasn’t a shootout. It will be the same story here. Take the Under (225.5).