The Brooklyn Nets are 10-1 in their last 11 games, while the Boston Celtics are on a four-game winning streak. It should be an interesting clash.
Catch this game, tomorrow, Friday, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (24-13, 13-6 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- C – DeAndre Jordan
- PF – Bruce Brown
- SF – Joe Harris
- SG – Kyrie Irving
- PG – James Harden
The Nets went into the All-Star break holding a ton of momentum. They head to tomorrow’s game having won 10 or their last 11 games while sporting an +11.2 point differential.
As always, we ought to expect fireworks on offense despite Kevin Durant (hamstring) still being out. The Nets are the most prolific scorers in the NBA with a league-best 121.1 PPG, which they can easily maintain under James Harden (25.5 PPG, 11.4 APG since the trade) and Kyrie Irving’s (27.2 PPG) guidance.
Keep in mind that the Nets have recently brought in yet another reinforcement: Blake Griffin. The six-time All-Star has been slowed down by injuries and is only averaging 12.3 PPG this season, but don’t count him out with this fast-paced offense. He may be re-energized now that he’s in a new, winning environment.
The supporting cast will be led by three-point specialist Joe Harris, who’s averaging a career-high 14.8 PPG while shooting an eye-popping 50.6% from three on 6.7 attempts per game, and Bruce Brown, who has become Harden’s new key target. Brown is posting 18 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on an impressive 67.7% shooting over his last six outings.
The Nets won the first meeting by a wide margin, 123-95, and also held the Celtics to just 37.8% shooting. Irving feasted all over his former teammates for 37 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
ROAD TEAM: Boston Celtics (19-17, 7-12 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- C – Daniel Theis
- PF – Tristan Thompson
- SF – Jayson Tatum
- SG – Jaylen Brown
- PG – Kemba Walker
While it’s not as strong as the Nets’ run, the Celtics also picked up steam going into the break. They’ve won four-straight games while averaging 119.5 PPG.
Kemba Walker understandably began the season slow because of nagging injuries, but he’s at an encouraging pace now. He’s been a key part in the current winning streak as he is putting up 23.3 points and 6.3 assists per game in that stretch. It’s a very welcomed surprise too, since Jayson Tatum (18.8 PPG in his last five) and Jaylen Brown (17.8 in his last four) have both tamed their scoring over their last few games.
The Celtics’ main secondary weapons are big men: Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson. Both are bruising rebounders that can really clog the lane, and they’ll look to get their money’s worth tomorrow against a high-octane offense.
Brown paced Boston in the aforementioned loss to the Nets with a team-high 27 points. Tatum didn’t provide much damage that day as he went just 9-for-20 from the field for 20 points.
Spread: The Nets have better momentum and more firepower, and they’re in their own backyard, so all signs point to them collecting another win. They should be able to get the job done while also covering the -3 spread.
The Nets are 9-2 in their last 11 games at home ATS. The Celtics have lost six-straight games on the road ATS.
Over/Under: It’s a tall O/U at 234, but these are two very capable offensive squads, so we can expect them to go over.
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