NBA Betting Preview – Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics

By  Jonathan Willis

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

NBA Betting Preview – Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics

Two of the preseason favorites to win the NBA title will meet in one of the last games before All-Star Weekend. The Boston Celtics will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night before the stars of both teams head to Chicago for the mid-season festivities. Boston is likely to be favored per the NBA betting odds since the Celtics are playing at home, and they are the second-hottest team in the league with seven straight wins as of Tuesday afternoon.

This game will take place at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on February 13, 2020, and the game will be broadcast on TNT.

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Head-To-Head Results to Date

Since these teams are in different conferences, they only play twice a year. When they met in Los Angeles in late November, the Clippers outlasted the Celtics in overtime to win 107-104. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George shared the court for the first time since the two stars came to Los Angeles in the offseason, but the star for the Clippers was back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams. Williams went 10-21 and led the Clippers with 27 points, yet his seven turnovers nearly cost the team. Jayson Tatum almost led the Celtics to the win, going 5-10 from three-point rang to lead all scorers with 30 points.

Injury Report

Boston won’t have center Robert Williams available on Tuesday against Houston, but the Celtics are hoping that he can take the court on Thursday. Williams has been dealing with a hip issue that has kept him sidelined since December 6, yet he is almost ready to return and provide some depth to the frontcourt.

Patrick Beverley is unlikely to take part in Thursday’s game due to a groin injury. Beverley will miss his third straight game due to the injury on Tuesday, and the Clippers will likely err on the side of caution with the veteran.

Player to Watch

Williams has been incredible for the Clippers this season. Leonard and George have already combined to miss 34 games due to rest and injury, but Williams has kept the Clip Show in contention for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. He is third on the team in scoring with 19.3 PPG, and he leads the Clippers with 5.9 APG. His ability to create scoring chances out of nothing makes him incredibly valuable although his shooting numbers aren’t spectacular, and he will certainly play a big part in this game.

Game Preview

The frontcourt matchup between Tatum and Leonard should be fun to watch. Leonard is the best on-ball defender in the NBA, and he will likely guard Tatum after the young power forward torched the Clippers in their last game. The reigning NBA Finals MVP has been excellent this season with 27.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 5.2 APG, and he is one of the league’s leaders in steals too.

In the backcourt, Paul George is coming into his own now that he is healthy. George is averaging 22.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.0 APG as an excellent compliment to Leonard, but Kemba Walker has been an excellent addition to the Celtics. Walker is sinking 39.1 percent of his threes this season, leading Boston in that department.

Prediction

The Celtics have one of the best starting lineups in the league, but their lack of depth hurts. They don’t have solid defensive big men to help get a start, and Enes Kanter has been largely hit or miss this year. That’s why the play here is the Clippers even though the Celtics have won 10 of their last 11 games.

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