Jazz vs. Celtics NBA Preview

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 24, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 24, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – 7:30 PM EST TD Garden

The Celtics are currently two games over .500 and now have a home game against the Utah Jazz to continue their solid stretch in their last five games of 4-1.

The Jazz, on the other hand, have lost three of their last four games, with two coming in close games and one being a double-digit loss. The Jazz are averaging 118.9 points per possession this season and have a 57 percent effective field goal percentage. Both of those numbers are top three in the NBA. But they’ve been average at holding onto the basketball and don’t get to the line very frequently.

Of course, the Jazz are very good under the glass and have had plenty of second chances this season with an offensive rebounding percentage of 27.8 percent. They’ve been able to work the glass thanks to Rudy Gobert who averages 14.4 points and 13.5 rebounds with 3.4 of them coming on the offensive end.

This team is led by Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, who are all NBA All-Stars this season. Mitchell averages 24.8 points per game along with 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds while Conley averages 16.4 points and 5.6 assists per game. Jordan Clarkson is the second leading scorer on this team but hasn’t started a single game this season. Off 25.8 minutes per game, he’s scoring nearly 18 points which is quite admirable.

On the defensive end, the Jazz have also been terrific, allowing teams to score just 108.1 points per 100 possessions. They’ve also limited teams to a 51 percent effective field goal percentage and have done very well on the defensive glass, limiting opponents to 23.3 percent offensive rebounds. The one area where the Jazz have struggled is forcing turnovers but by forcing tough shots and rebounding on the defensive end while also limiting fouls, it has helped minimize the damage of not getting turnovers.

The Celtics are scoring 114.3 points per 100 possessions this season and have a 54.1 percent effective field goal percentage. They’ve been average at holding onto the basketball but against the Jazz, they’ll at least get shots up. The Celtics will have their hands full on the offensive glass. They’re fourth in the league in offensive rebounding percentage but have to take on the Jazz, who are fourth in the league in defensive rebounding. Also, don’t expect to see the Celtics at the line very often.

The Celtics are led by a tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Combined, they’ve averaged just under 50 points per game and get about 34 minutes per game each. Tristian Thompson is the main rebounder for the Celtics and has his hands full along with Daniel Theis. Their rebounding will be crucial if they want to stay in this game.

Defensively, the Celtics are allowing 112.5 points per 100 possessions and have also allowed an effective field goal percentage of 54.2 percent. On top of that, the Celtics are no real threat in forcing turnovers. We’ll see turnovers about 14 percent of the time from the Jazz in this game on average. While the Celtics dominate on the glass offensively, they haven’t nearly been the same on the defensive glass but also don’t foul very often which is a good sign.


The Jazz haven’t been perfect recently but this is a match-up where they should shine getting better shots and cleaning the glass. Neither team will get to the foul line often and turnovers will be about the same but the Jazz have better numbers in many of the four factors. I’ll take the Jazz, on the road, to cover.

NBA Pick: Jazz -4.5 (-110) at Bet365

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