The Nets just got news that super-sub Spencer Dinwiddie (17.2 PPG) will require surgery for a finger problem. With 2nd leading scorer Caris LeVert still out with a hip injury, the Nets are starting to look more like a MASH unit than a basketball team. The injury comes at a bad time as the nets have won 6 in a row and 10 of its 12 games in January. The problem with losing a high-scoring 6th man is it throws the offensive rotation off. The Nets are currently in position to make the playoffs but will need to find a way to fill this new hole. Hopefully, leading scorer D’Angelo Russell (19.2 PPG) can kick it up yet another notch and take on a little more of the scoring burden.
The Celtics enter this game off of a narrow home loss to Golden state 115-111. There’s no shame in losing to the best. Prior to that loss, the Celtics had won 10 games in a row at home, including a 116-95 blowout win over these same Nets. The defense has been playing well of late, not giving up more than 116 points during the entire month of January. That’s a remarkable stat for a team that plays an up-tempo game in this year’s NBA. The Celtics are currently led in scoring by G Kyrie Irving at 23.7 PPG followed by Jayson Tatum at 16.4 PPG. When the Celts win ballgames, they do so with a total team effort.
Prediction: This will be the 3rd time these two teams have met in January with each team winning on its home court. In both games, it was a relatively low-scoring affair with the total coming in at 211. It’s hard to imagine the Nets won’t struggle a little on offense while they redesign the playing rotation in Dinwiddie’s absence. With the Celtics playing decent defense, the under looks tempting. Play under 220.5 (score – Boston 112-101)