The Boston Celtics play their second game in two nights when they face the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Boston lost to the San Antonio Spurs 99-97 on Wednesday night at the TD Garden. The Celtics are 18-20 SU on the season and they are in 4th place in the Atlantic Division team standings and 10th in the latest Eastern Conference team rankings.
New York beat the Indiana Pacers at MSG last Tuesday to improve to, well, 18-20 on the season. The Knicks are tied with the Celtics in 4th place in the Atlantic and they are also tied with Boston with the 10th best record in the East although the Celtics own the tiebreaker, putting the Knicks down to 11th.
After scoring a career-high 50 in their previous game, Jaylen Brown put up 26 against the Spurs but he missed a game-tying layup that would have sent the game to overtime. Jayston Tatum returned from the COVID-list but shot just 6-20 from the field while Dennis Schroder scored 15 points off the bench in a losing effort. Marcus Smart also had a good all-around game with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals.
Boston ranks 15th in the league in scoring at 108.2 points per game this season. They are 7th in rebounding at 46.1 boards grabbed per contest and are 22nd in passing at 22.8 assists per game. The Celtics are 14th in scoring defense at 107.1 points per game allowed.
R.J.Barrett scored 32 points, including 24 in the first half while Julius Randle had a double-double with 30 points and 16 rebounds in his first game back from the COVID-19 protocols as New York beat Indiana 104-94. Alec Burks added 14 points while Immanuel Quickley came off the bench to score 11 for New York.
New York is 27th in the league in scoring at 104.7 points per game this season. They are 15th off the glass with an average of 45.2 rebounds per game and are next to last in passing at 21.0 assists per game. The Knicks are the 6th best defensive team in the NBA at 105.4 points per game allowed.
Boston is 2-4 SU in their last six games played. The Celtics are 0-5 SU in their last five games played on the road. New York is 4-2 SU in their last six games played. The Knicks are 8-11 SU in 19 home games played this season and 6-12 SU in their last 18 games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Head to head, the Celtics are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played against the New York Knicks. Boston is also 8-3 SU in their last 11 games played in New York.
The Celtics are coming off a home game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Boston lost by two points after Jaylen Brown missed a layup which could have sent the game to overtime. The Celtics will be playing their second game in two nights and will be doing so on the road.
Meanwhile, the Knicks beat the Pacers last Tuesday and have been here at home where they will play eight out of their next 10 games. New York has struggled against Boston in their last 10 head-to-head meetings but with the Celtics playing the second of back-to-back games here, fatigue could be a factor. Also, Jayson Tatum shot just 6-20 in his first game back from COVID-19 protocols so he could still not be 100% here.
Prediction: New York Knicks
The Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Boston is 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games against the Atlantic Division, 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, 0-4 ATS in their last four games against a team with a losing straight up record, and 0-5 ATS in their last five games against an opponent with a losing ATS record.
The Knicks are 4-2 ATS in their last six games played. New York is 3-1 ATS in their last four games played at home, 4-0 ATS in their last four games as betting favorites, 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against an opponent with a road winning percentage of below .400, and 4-2 ATS in their last six home games against an opponent from the Atlantic Division.
Head to head, the Knicks are 4-2 ATS in their last six games played against the Celtics.
As stated above, the Celtics will be playing in back to back games here and no matter what you think, fatigue will be an issue here. Boston is just 7-12 SU on the road this season and the Knicks already have a home win against the Celtics this season.
Boston got Tatum back in their last game but it was obvious he was far from 100%. One day isn’t going to change that and in fact, seeing action last night will probably get him restricted minutes here as he tries to recover his strength.
As for New York, they have been playing better as of late playing mediocre basketball at the start of last month. They have won six out of their last 10, including four of their last six. I’ll put my hard-earned money on the well-rested team here.
Prediction: Knicks +2
The under is 21-16-1 in Boston’s 38 games played this season. The under is 6-0 in their last six road games against an opponent with a losing home record, 4-1 in their last five games against an opponent with a losing straight up record, 10-4-1 in their last 15 road games, 5-3 in their last eight division games, and 13-9 against Eastern Conference rivals.
The total has gone under in five out of the Knicks’ last six games played. The under is 5-1 in their last six games played at home, 11-3 in their last 14 home games against an opponent with a losing road record, and 6-1 in their last seven home games against an opponent with a road winning percentage of below .400.
Head to head, the total has gone under in six out of the last nine meetings between these two teams.
The Celtics ranks just 22nd in the NBA in tempo with only 97.2 possessions per game. The Knicks on the other hand, rank 29th in the league in pace at 95.6 possessions per outing. Both teams have seen the total go under in 42 of a combined 75 games this season.
The under has also hit in six out of the last 10 meetings between these two teams. New York has scored 105 or fewer points in seven out of their last eight games while failing to hit 100 points in three out of their last five games played. Boston has scored 103 or fewer points in three of their last six games including 97 against the Spurs in their last game.
With the way these two teams are scoring as of late, this should be a low-scoring contest.
Prediction: Under 208.5
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