Clippers vs. Celtics NBA Preview

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers is defended by Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers is defended by Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP


LA Clippers vs. Boston Celtics

Tuesday, March 02, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at TD Garden

The Los Angeles Clippers will head to Boston after a devastating five-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Celtics have won two straight games and are now one win away from getting back to .500.

The Clippers are really solid offensively. They’re averaging 119.1 points per possession and have an effective field goal percentage of 57.2 percent, which is one of the highest in the league. On top of that, the Clippers are strong with the ball and get to the line at a solid rate, which should continue against Boston.

Los Angeles is scoring 114.9 points per game and allowing 109 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and bringing down 44.4 rebounds per game. The Clippers are playing well as a team and assisting on 24.3 baskets per game but haven’t been effective blocking shots or getting steals as much as they would’ve liked.

The Clippers have been getting over 50 points from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this season combined and have seen solid contributions from new bigs like Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum who have both played solid minutes and have done their roles well.

Defensively, L.A. is allowing 113.1 points per possession and have allowed an effective field goal percentage of 54.4. They’re below average when trying to force turnovers but have done well on the defensive glass, which will be an area that will be important in this game going up against the Celtics.

On the flip side, the Celtics haven’t been the best offensive team, scoring just 112.8 points per game per 100 possessions. Boston is also shooting a 53.3 percent effective field goal percentage and turning the ball over 14.1 percent of the time. The Celtics will have to out-rebound on the offensive glass against a solid Clippers team that can rebound just as well.

The Celtics average 110.9 points per game and allow 110.4 points per game. They’re shooting 46.3 percent from the field and have brought down 44 rebounds per game. Boston is averaging more steals and blocks than the Clippers with five blocks and eight steals per game. That will help on the defensive side of the ball.

Don’t expect the Celtics to get to the line at a rapid pace either. This is a different Boston team than we’re used to seeing.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had been the duo for the Celtics this season with both averaging 25 or more points per game. Tristan Thompson has been the top rebounder for this bunch with 8.5 rebounds per game. He and the rest of the team will have a lot cut out for them on the glass in this one.

Boston’s defense has struggled. They’re allowing 111.8 points per 100 possessions and are allowing opponents to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 54 percent. On top of that, they’re not going to force many turnovers, especially against a fundamentally sound Clippers team. But you will see Boston foul and be aggressive which will send the Clippers to the line.

The Clippers will likely get more foul shot attempts, on the road. The Clippers will rarely lose two straight games and although they’re on the road, they’re facing an underwhelming Boston team that just hasn’t figured it out this season with injuries and COVID stops. Boston couldn’t even beat up on Washington and Indiana at home. They for sure won’t beat up on the Clippers.

NBA Pick: Clippers -4 (-110) at Bet 365


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