NBA Picks 3/13 – Boston Celtics @ Houston Rockets
by Thomas Quaynor – NBA analyst for Wannamakeabet.com
The Boston Celtics (47-21) are on the road facing the Houston Rockets (15-52) tonight in a true ‘David vs. Goliath’ matchup. The Celtics are a 12.5-point favorite, and the total is 231. This is the second and final meeting between these teams, not surprisingly, Boston dominated the Houston, 126-102, in Boston on December 27th. Boston has won five straight games against Houston, all of those wins have been by double digits.
THE SKINNY ON BOTH TEAMS
After catching fire in the second half of last season and making it to the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics have continued their high level of play this season, as they have the second-best record in the NBA at 47-21. All-Star game MVP Jayson Tatum continues to play at an elite level this year averaging 30.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1 steal per game. Tatum has raised his scoring average in each of his six NBA seasons. If Tatum can maintain his scoring pace, he’ll be the player in Celtics history to average more than 30 ppg, surpassing Celtics legend Larry Bird who averaged 29.9 ppg during the 1987-1988 season. Fellow All-Star Jaylen Brown is also having his best season averaging 26.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
After trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in January 2021, the Houston Rockets have spent the past two years tanking. Houston finished 17-55 in 2020-2021, 20-62 last season and are currently 15-52. You could argue the tanking has somewhat worked out as they’ve used four first round picks to draft Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason in the last two NBA drafts. All four players are playing well so far in their young NBA careers and could be the nucleus of very good team down the line, especially if they get the number 1 pick and land phenom Victor Wembanyama. Jalen Green (the #2 pick in the 2021 draft) is averaging 21.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game and Alperen Sengun (the 16th pick in the 2021 draft) averages 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Even though the NBA has had some “funny” results in recent games with elite teams losing to bad teams and star players being “injured” in every other game, I’m taking the Boston Celtics here, they have way too much firepower for this to be close…lay the points!!
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