Celtics vs. Suns NBA Preview

Jayson Tatum. Celtics vs. Suns NBA Preview

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

The Celtics will take on the Suns (likely) without Jaylen Brown. More pressure will be on Jayson Tatum in this game. Can he produce and win the game? Here’s the best bet.

Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns 

The Boston Celtics will travel to Phoenix with a banged up roster. That’s how it’s been all season long for Boston, yet they’re still 12-9 on the season. The Suns were everyone’s sleeper team this season and have showed up, matching the Celtics win-by-win and loss-by-loss. The Suns are also 12-9 on the season in the Western Conference.

The Celtics will likely be without Jaylen Brown but they’ll still have Jayson Tatum leading the way. Tatum is averaging 27.3 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Brown will likely be absent due to a sore knee but keep on the lookout before the game to see his status.

The Celtics are averaging 111.9 points per game and allowing 109.7 points per game. Boston is averaging 47.2 percent from the field and bringing down 44.1 rebounds per game. The Celtics are a bit more aggressive defensively when it comes to steals, averaging over two more than the Suns. Boston has allowed 110.3 points per 100 possessions and are getting 15.5 percent of turnovers defensively. They’ll allow a high amount of foul shots and aren’t the best on the defensive glass, but the Suns haven’t shown much when it comes to their offensive rebounding and getting to the line.

The Celtics will struggle against a solid Suns defense. Boston is scoring 114 points per 100 possessions and shoot a 54.4 percent effective field goal percentage. Both of these areas are where the Suns excel defensively, holding teams to 108.9 points per 100 possessions and at a 52.4 percent effective field goal percentage. The Suns defense won’t turn you over a ton but they’ll play really good defense and battle on the defensive glass. 

The Suns are led by Devin Booker who is averaging 23.1 points per game along with 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He’s also got Chris Paul dishing him dimes as Paul is averaging 8.5 assists per game this season along with a surprising 16.4 points per game. Paul is averaging more points than Miles Bridges and Deandre Ayton.

The Suns average 109.9 points per game and allow 107.5 points per game. Both teams have been solid defensively, allowing less than 110 points, which is something to consider. Phoenix shoots a bit lower when it comes to field goal percentage and brings down about the same amount of rebounds per game.

The Suns have won four of their last five games and seem to be in much more of a rhythm than the Celtics, who continually lose players to the sideline whether it’s COVID or an injury. The Celtics can’t seem to get healthy. If Brown is indeed out, the Suns, at home, seem like the play.

Prediction

Both defenses have been tremendous this season, allowing less than 110 points each. The Suns have won four of their last five games but that hasn’t been against the best competition. The Suns beat the Pistons, lost to the Pelicans, have two wins against Dallas and dominated the Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Celtics were given a tougher schedule. They just defeated the Clippers and lost to the Lakers to conclude January. An early game before the Super Bowl calls for the under. Neither team will reach 110 points in this game. Both teams match-up very well defensively and should make it hard for either team to go on big runs on offense. Take the under. 

NBA Pick: Under 216.5 (-110) at Bet365

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