By Emily Musella
Clippers win close one against Celtics
The Boston Celtics continue to impress sitting at first place in their respectable eastern conference. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers remain competitive in their western conference sitting at fourth place right behind the Nuggets. Can the Celtics clip a W or will the Clippers remain strong at home? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Odds: Los Angeles Clippers -5.5
Over/Under: Over 220
Tip-off: November 20th, 10:00 p.m. EST, Staples Center
The Celtics continue to prove they are an Eastern conference juggernaut in the NBA. With Gordon Hayward out for the next four weeks or so, Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have held down the court boasting an 11-2 record. Tatum racked up 26 points against the Suns on Monday night, while Walker hit for 19 and 5 assists.
The Celtics are ranked 11th in the league for total offense and average 112 points per game. They also boast an impressive 36.26% from the 3pt range. If Walker and Tatum start off hot, it could be a long night for the Clippers defense.
Defensively, the Celtics are ranked 7th in the league with nearly 37 defensive rebounds per game. Not to mention they only surrender 104 points on average to their opponents. Marcus Smart continues to wreck opposing teams with his defensive showmanship. After showing a questionable status with an ankle injury against the Suns, he is upgraded to probable and ready to continue his defensive streak against the Clippers. The defense will have its hands full though with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard’s playmaking abilities.
Keys to success for the Celtics will be to start and finish strong against the Clippers, keep their dominant defense intact and let Walker and Tatum go off against a 10th ranked Clippers defense.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
The Clippers are coming off a close win against the Oklahoma City Thunder squad. Kawhi Leonard is currently listed as questionable which if he sits would be a huge blow to the Clippers offense. There are however other playmakers on the Clips offense with Paul George and Montrezl Harrell emerging in Leonard’s absence. George notched 18 points and Harrell hit for 28 points.
The Clippers are slightly above the Celtics with a 10th ranked offensive squad in the NBA. They average close to the same as the Celtics in points scored per game with 112.79. Not to mention they have a superb field goal percentage success with 46%. If George and Harrell can get around the likes of Smart on the Celtics defense, it could be a dangerous dynamic duo matchup.
Defensively, the Clippers are ranked 10th, which is not as good as the Celtics, but it keeps them close enough to go neck and neck with the C’s squad. The Clippers average 37 defensive rebounds per game and surrender about 106 points per game to their opponents. Not to mention the Clippers are a relatively larger in height squad which is a huge advantage.
Keys to success for the Clippers will be to score early and if necessary, keep pace with the Celtics, let Harrell and George take the reins if Leonard sits on the bench and contain the explosiveness of the tandem Walker -Tatum threat.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
This is perhaps one of the best matchups so far this season and these two teams are hungry for another W. The Celtics are a juggernaut for the Eastern Conference, but I think they will get put in check against the Clippers at home. The Clippers have some ground to make up sitting at 9-5 and a win over the Celtics would be an excellent start to showcase their competitiveness. I like the Clippers to win this one right down to the wire, final score 120-116 Clippers win. It’s a Wednesday night and the west coast vs. east coast match is in full swing! Are you ready basketball fans?