Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) dives for the ball against Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs, left, during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Kyle Barrette

In case you missed it, some telling news about the Celtics came out yesterday. The kind of news we as sports fans don’t often get to see, and it comes as a surprise when we do. Smart told reporters that Celtics stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, need to pass the ball more and are the reason for the early season woes of the Celtics. Brown and Tatum combined to score two points in the final quarter of an absolute collapse that resulted in a loss after an unheard of 38-9 run by the Chicago Bulls.

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Things are getting bad fast for the Celtics. You have a team that underperformed last season that got rid of a head coach that had been there for years with what seemed to be a solid core and brought in a new group of players to go along with a new coach. It was a clean slate, right? Wrong, this team is shaping up to be worse than they were last season and it’s starting to look more like a player/locker room problem than a Brad Stevens problem, which was how it was portrayed when the former coach became president of the team. Now it’s still early in the season, but with guys publicly calling out other players, the situation might be too far gone for repair. Only time will tell. Still, with all of their behind-the-scenes issues, this roster still has a lot of talent. Their offense ranks fourth in the league, but where they lack is their defense. They rank dead last in opponents’ points per game.

We all knew coming into this year that Orlando was going to have a tough start to their season. They have a good number of young players with upside who are working on getting healthy, and once that happens, look for this team to compete. The playing time that some of their bench players and younger players are getting because of the injuries to starters will likely only benefit the team once everyone is back on the floor. Orlando has also struggled on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 23rd in the league, allowing almost 112 points per game. Orlando is tied for the 22nd ranked offense with 104 points per game, but the offense seems to be improving and they just scored their most points of the season so far in their last game, a 115-97 victory over the Timberwolves.

Magic vs Celtics the Pick: Over 215.5 Pts
The over is the play here. We have two of the worst defenses in the league going at it. Boston has a top-ranked offense and the Magic have been making strides as an offense. The Celtics are clearly having issues in their locker room, but despite that, this team has still played well enough together to bolster the fourth ranked offense in the league, and it should continue here against a bad Magic squad.

Same Game Parlay
Over 215.5 Pts, Magic Team Total Over 103.5 Pts, Celtics Team Total Over 110.5 Pts and Jayson Tatum Over 2.5 Made Threes.

SGP Odds +440

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