By: Emily Musella
Celtics clash with Thunder at the Garden
The Boston Celtics host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at the Garden in hopes to climb out of their recent downward spiral. The Celtics lost their last two games courtesy of the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets. On the flip side, the OKC Thunder have not won a game since March 31st and will look to pull off the upset in Boston tonight. Will the Boston team regroup with a W, or will the Thunder shock the league and strike a victory? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Odds: BOS -10.5, OKC +10.5
Tip-off: April 27th, 7:00 p.m. EST, TD Garden
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
The OKC Thunder face a desperate Celtics squad tonight who will be without Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. As for the Thunder, their injury list is quite long with players such as Lu Dort, Josh Hall, Tony Bradley, and Mike Muscala all listed as QUESTIONABLE for tonight’s matchup.
On the offense, I would anticipate players like Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon, and Isaiah Roby to be the big guys that step up and score points for their team tonight. On the season, Bazley averages 13.2 points per game, Maledon averages nearly 10 points per game, and Roby posts typically 9 points per game. Though all of the above numbers are not impressive, all three guys will need to heavily contribute tonight for a chance to win. In terms of how the OKC Thunder stack up on the offense, the team is 28th in total score, 27th in FG%, 28th in 3-point%, and 6th in total rebounds.
As for the defense, the Thunder team catches a huge break with Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker officially listed as OUT for tonight’s matchup. However, even without Tatum and Walker, the Thunder team will need to look out for the star-studded power of Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Payton Pritchard. Brown will be the heavy target tonight and in their last head-to-head he posted 25 points. As for how the OKC Thunder stack up on the defense, the team is 24th in total score, 21st in FG%, 10th in 3-point%, and 27th in total rebounds.
The Celtics host the OKC Thunder tonight in hopes of climbing back up the standings in the NBA Eastern Conference. With the C’s last two losses, they currently sit in 6th place tied with the Miami Heat just one game behind them. Tonight would be a perfect opportunity for the next man up ideology, considering Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and most likely Robert Williams III will all be OUT tonight.
On the offense, the Celtics secured the W in their last head-to-head against the OKC Thunder back in March with a 111-94 victory. With players like Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Payton Pritchard all in the lineup, I would anticipate those three to post big numbers tonight. However, the other two names to look out for are Jabari Parker and Evan Fournier. Parker has yet to have a breakout game for his new team but tonight could be the chance to prove he is capable of stepping up. As for how the Celtics offense stacks up, they are 16th in total score, 15th in FG%, 10th in 3-point%, and 16th in total rebounds.
As for the defense, the Boston team will look to take advantage of a potentially heavily depleted Thunder squad. The top scorers for the OKC team in their last head-to-head in March were Theo Maledon with 22 points and Moses Brown with 21 points. The Celtics will need to heavily guard Theo Maledon and Darius Bazley as they will most likely carry the load for their Thunder team tonight. The physical rebounder and wild card that the C’s also need to keep tabs on is Moses Brown as he racked up 23 rebounds in their last head-to-head. As for how the Celtics defense stack up in tonight’s matchup, they are 10th in total score, 11th in FG%, 19th in 3-point%, and 6th in total rebounds.
ANALYSIS AND BEST BETS
Tonight’s matchup includes a Boston team that is desperate to climb out of a downward spiral, and a Oklahoma City team who has not seen a victory since the end of March. Despite all of the injuries on both sides of the competition, I would like to think that we have a solid matchup tonight. All of the bench players on both teams will need to step up and prove that they can take over the court when needed.
My first best bet is for Jaylen Brown to post OVER 26.5 points tonight. Brown needs to have a huge performance for his team with Tatum and Walker both out tonight. I anticipate Brown will be a golden pick tonight because he has been on fire lately from all ranges on the court.
My second best bet is for Marcus Smart to post OVER 15.5 points tonight. Smart also needs to step up for his Celtics squad and I anticipate he will be successful tonight shooting from beyond the arc and getting to the free-throw line.