The Celtics woes on the road continue where the team just don’t seem to be able to establish a good game flow. They come into this road game having lost 5 of its last 6 away from home. This with be the 3rd game in a 3-game road trip with 2 straight losses down in Florida where the offense went MIA. This is an offense that otherwise ranks 10th in the NBA at 112 PPG. The good news is the team’s defense is still playing well, giving up only 105.6 PPG (6th in NBA) and a FG percentage of 44.2% (3rd in NBA). While Kyrie Irving leads the team in scoring at 22.7 PPG, there just doesn’t seem to be anyone on this team that’s capable of stepping up with a big game on a consistent basis.
The Brooklyn Nets have been a pleasant surprise this season. In recent weeks, they have really been playing well, going 11-5 over its last 16 games. The numbers get even better at home where they have won 8 of its last 9 games. They aren’t particularly adept at scoring and they don’t rebound very well. However, they are proving to be a scrappy bunch of guys who take turns stepping up with big games. Collectively, they shoot the deep ball quite often and well, hitting on 36% of its 3s (7th) in the league. Leading scorer Caris LaVert (18.4 PPG) continues to be out with an injury that has kept him sidelined for two months now. That keeps a bit of extra pressure on 2nd leading scorer D’Angelo Russell (18.2 PPG).
Prediction: The Nets will be looking for a bit a revenge after a solid 115-96 drubbing last week by the Celtics in Boston. In that game, the Nets only shot 40% from the field and 26% behind the arc. Now they come home where they have been playing at a high level. This is a good chance to take a good home team that’s getting points. Play New Jersey +4.5 (score – New Jersey 112-106)