The East Coast spectacle occurs at the TD Garden, where Boston Celtics host the New York Knicks. The Cs have nine wins and two defeats in the previous 11 events, but those two losses happened in the past few days, one after another. Meanwhile, the Knicks won following four straight failures and want to keep momentum in Boston on Thursday night. Each time these two iconic franchises meet, things are intense and fiery, which is whyESPN broadcasts this event.
New York Knicks (26-23, +200) had four defeats in a row. It started with the Wizards and the Raptors at Madison Square Garden, before those versus Hawks and the Raptors again, this time on the road.
But Tom Thibodeau’s crew managed to stop the skid against the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom they defeated at the Madison, 105-103. Julius Randle was in the middle of attention, with 36 points, 24 behind the three-point line in 12 attempts. He had 13 boards and four assists.
RJ Barrett had 16 buckets, Jalen Brunson added 14, and Obi Toppin added 11 off the bench. New York had 51.3% from downtown, making 17 of 33 shots from deep. Though, under the rim, NYK was inferior, allowing 52 points, and scoring only 38.
Boston Celtics (35-14, -295) had nine wins in a row but now lost back-to-back events, both in Florida. After defeating the Magic, 113-98, the Miami Heat took the Cs’ scalp, 98-95. Boston was on the verge of winning this event, but they allowed the hosts to make a comeback in the final period, scoring only 13 buckets during those 12 minutes.
This was arguably the worst period for the Cs this year. It was no wonder to see them frustrated following the game. Jayson Tatum posted a double-double with 21 points, 14 boards, and seven assists. Derrick White added 23, while Robert Williams III had 11.
Brown wasn’t involved in this one due to his health issues, but that wasn’t the key to the Cs’ defeat. Poor contribution off the bench was the main reason, with the non-starters scoring 10 points in this event, which is ridiculous. There were a couple of missing players, but still, this productivity is below any decent standards.
Head to Head Games
The first game of the year was early in November at Madison Square Garden. Boston was better 133-118 shifting into a higher gear in the final period and pulling away from the rivals. Jaylen Brown scored 30 buckets for the Cs, Jayson Tatum added 26, and Sam Hauser delivered 17 off the bench.
On the other side, three players had 20 or more points. Randle 29, RJ Barrett 27, and Jalen Brunson 22, plus 10 assists.
The Celtics are back home, and they are thirsty for some blood following two defeats in a row. Furthermore, they have one of the biggest rivals coming to town and be sure that the boys in green are locked and loaded before tonight’s tip-off. We are all in for Boston’s win in this event, and the odds on their victory are set at -295, which isn’t too high, but on the other side, Cs’ triumph is pretty sure. For those who want more money, go with Cs -6.5.
Pick: Boston Celtics win -295
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.
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