Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Friday, February 5th, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Staples Center
The Clippers return home to do battle with an Eastern Conference contender in the Boston Celtics, in what both teams hope could be a preview of a postseason matchup with the Larry O’Brien trophy on the line.
Will The Celtics Defense Hold Up?
The Boston Celtics under Brad Stevens have established a solid identity as a defensive team. They play very strong team defense. But, with Marcus Smart out, their perimeter defense will be lacking in this game, as we saw in their last matchup, which was a loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings. Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be excellent as always, including on both ends of the floor, but it is fair to have some skepticism as to whether that will hold up against a motivated Clippers team.
The Nets are an interesting team when it comes to sports betting. According to Oddstrader, they are the second choice currently to win the 2021 NBA championship.
Will The Clippers Carry Their Momentum Home?
The Clippers lost a hard fought game against the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week and followed that up with a nice win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The issue with that game was that the Clippers allowed the Cavaliers to hang around until the fourth quarter when they finally put them away. The Clippers then returned home and had a day to prepare for a Boston team in the midst of a road trip.
The Clippers also have an advantage over the Celtics on the shooting floor. They are a very good three point team, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading the way. These guys have been simply outstanding from distance this season, and with Marcus Smart out for this game, the advantage will be strong for the Clippers on that end of the floor.
This should be a very good game featuring two very good teams. The Celtics have struggled a bit on this long road trip, but you can’t take away the fact that they have several stars on their roster that are capable of carrying them to wins against anyone in the league on any given night. The loss of Marcus Smart is a big loss to this team to be sure, but they are still a very talented team, coached by one of the absolute best in the NBA. They are a tough out for any team.
Normally the first game after a road trip is a fade spot for the home squad, but the Clippers have several things going for them in this spot. They are excellent from beyond the arc with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading the way. Additionally they have the motivation factor in their favor off the loss to Brooklyn and a closer than it appeared win against Cleveland. The Clippers should return to their home floor hungry for a win. Now they get the chance against another Eastern Conference contender to make a statement. I think the Clippers will make full use of this opportunity. I think the Clippers will be able to outshoot the Celtics and play enough defense to slow Jaylon Brown and Jason Tatum. I like the home squad here to get the job done and cover the number.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -5 (-110) at BetMGM