Celtics Basketball
Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson plays against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Celtics vs. Nets, Feb. 8

Kyle Barrette

It’s hard to imagine that this same Nets team is the same team that bookmakers still have as the favorite to win it all. I know it’s a different team with Harden and Durant on the floor, but you have one guy who has been out for an extended period of time with an injury and another who is going through injury problems of his own and is actively being put on the trade market for a guy who basically quit on his team. There is a lot going on in New York. Can they gather themselves and get a much needed win tonight against the Celtics? Let’s break down this matchup.

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Nets:
Tonight is a home game, which means no Kyrie. Harden is listed as a game-time decision and there is a good chance he does not play here as the issue is with his hamstring and that has been a problem for him in the past. Brooklyn’s injury list is still long, with Aldridge, Harris, and Millsap all out for the foreseeable future. The Nets are inching closer and closer to the .500 mark, a point no one thought this team would be at. Things have gone from bad to worse for the losers of their last eight games. In the first four losses, the team was competitive, but lately it’s been terrible. The last four losses have all been by 10 points or more. The Nets’ defense has been average all season, so the opponents’ scoring 110+ is nothing new, but their offense has taken a huge hit with everyone being out. The Nets have only averaged 107 points per game over this eight-game losing streak. Things could get really interesting if they don’t turn around soon.

Celtics:
Things might finally be turning around in Boston. We have seen this show before and the teams they have been beating are not the greatest and some have had notable injuries. Nevertheless, Boston has quietly won seven of their last eight games, including a current five-game win streak. You would think that the Celtics would easily be able to continue this roll given the state of the Nets, but that would be a very Celtic thing to do to get beat up here against a struggling team. Over this stretch, their offense has been average and able to get the job done, but their defense has been off the charts. Now, I know they have been playing injured and bad teams, but some of these stats are impressive. Six of the eight teams the Celtics have beat over this stretch have been held under 100 points, and they only allowed 107 points to a Hornets team that is second in the league in scoring. Maybe this is a new way for a Celtics squad that is fully healthy. Only time will tell.

Celtics vs. Nets Prediction: Celtics -5
The Nets can’t be trusted right now. If Harden sits, this line will shoot to at least seven. No one is talking about the Celtics because their victories are not high-profile, but that is exactly what you have in this Nets team right now. You have one team dominating on the defensive end at full strength and the other team with a below-average defense that is injured and struggling on offense. Give me the Celtics at minus 5.

Same Game Parlay:
Celtics -7.5, Jaylen Brown First Basket, Jaylen Brown Over 25.5 Pts, Celtics to win by 1-10 Pts and Celtics Team Total Over 111.5 Pts. 

SGP Odds +11402

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