The Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors cross paths again in arguably the best game this Thursday. Will the Celtics avenge their loss to Golden State in December? Or, will the Warriors double down on their mastery of Boston?
Catch this game live on Thursday, March 17, at 10 AM, Manila time.
Away: Boston Celtics (41-28/17-16 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Al Horford
- C: Robert Williams III
The Celtics’ five-game win streak came to a screeching halt last Monday, as Boston absorbed a gut-wrenching 95-92 home loss to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Despite that loss, Boston’s defense was able to flash its fangs anew. Boston’s resurgence has a lot to do with their success on that end of the floor. Over their last six games, the Celtics have allowed just 104.8 points with opposing teams shooting just 45% from the field. Moreover, Boston’s last six opponents have coughed up the ball an average of 16.0 times per contest. Dallas even had 17 turnovers versus the Celtics.
That’s the kind of pesky defense that Boston will look to slap Golden State this Thursday. At the same time, the Celtics will have to be better in terms of ball security, as they had 16 turnovers in their 111-107 home loss to Golden State in December. Boston fished 25 fouls off the Warriors too but was only 20/29 from the foul line. That’s another aspect the Celtics will look to improve on when they share the floor again with Golden State, especially since the Warriors are among the easiest to bait in the league. The Warriors are 28th in the NBA with 20.7 personal fouls per contest.
Home: Golden State Warriors (47-22/29-7 at home)
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Jonathan Kuminga
- C: Kevon Looney
Stephen Curry went supernova on his 34th birthday Tuesday, exploding for 47 points to lead the Warriors to a 126-112 home win over the Washington Wizards. With the Warriors in a great flow, they will look to sustain their form and extend their win streak to five games when they square off with Boston. The Warriors are peaking once again, with two of their recent wins coming at the expense of the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks. Curry and the Warriors have been close to lights out in their current undefeated run, having shot 49.7 FG% and 38.8 3FG% in their last five games.
Plus, they just got a major boost with the return of Draymond Green, who had a triple-single of six points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 20 minutes off the bench against Washington – his first game in over two months His value was immense, though as he finished with a game-best plus/minus of +24. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins missed the Wizards game due to illness, but could return as soon as this Thursday. He had 27 points in the first meeting with Boston, while Curry paced the Warriors with 30 points. The Celtics are among the best teams in defending the perimeter, but a lot of times, that won’t matter when Curry and crew is on the groove. The Warriors hit 16 threes in December versus Boston.
Spread: The Celtics have changed a lot since that loss to Golden State. Boston will bring the fight to the Warriors, get to the line a ton again, and will be more careful with the rock (just 11.2 TOVs in the last six games). Taking the Celtics to cover (+3.5).
Over/Under: I got a feeling this is going to be a barnburner of a game. Expecting the total to hit the Over (221.5).