The Return; Part XVI
Deron Williams said yesterday that he expects to play tonight against the Celtics, as he has missed the Nets’ nine games, and 11 of their last 12 games with an injury. Even if he does play, I can’t see him having a huge impact on the game. He has missed about three full weeks of action, and it’s going to take him some time to get re-established as the floor general. Plus, Avery Bradley is a plus defender at the point guard position, and he should make it extra difficult for Williams.
Another guy that could be returning is Paul Pierce, however his status is still likely up in the air. Plus, it would be ahead of his timetable, so we’ll see later this evening whether it’s just talk of him wanting to play his old team, or if he actually has a chance at playing.
However even with these two guys playing, I doubt the scoring is very plentiful in this game. Brooklyn and Boston are both in the bottom third of the NBA in pace, or possessions per game, while the Celtics are ranked 10th in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Brooklyn has not been able to score the ball that well this season, even at home, and I doubt the underrated Celtics defense gives them a pass tonight.
The Sharp Pick
Even if both guys from Brooklyn suit up, I see the under as having some nice value in the NBA odds. The Celtics are 10-2 this season cashing the under when playing on the road, and they have one of the best road defenses in the NBA this season. Boston ranks 5th in road defense, as they are giving up only 94 points per game. Their road scoring is nothing to get excited about, as they are only scoring about 92 points per game. However, I think we will see a similar effort tonight from Boston.
With how bad the Eastern Conference is this season, Coach Stevens has to have his players believing they can hold onto a meaningful playoff spot. The Celtics are 10-12 SU and are 4th in the standings thanks to the horrible Atlantic Division. Their defense is a big reason why they have been so successful, and once Rajon Rondo returns this team has some really solid potential with how well their defense has been.
The under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between these two clubs, and it’s also 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two from Brooklyn. Four of the last six games overall for the Nets have gone under, as well as six of the last nine games for Boston. I’m taking the under for our NBA pick this evening.
My Pick: UNDER 193