Boston To Ride Wave Of Momentum In Cleveland To Keep It Close

Charles Stark

Thursday, December 29, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

The Celtics are starting to turn their season around winning six out of their last seven games. Tonight they are a decent underdog as they come to visit the reigning champs. Can Boston continue their momentum?

Boston Celtics

Boston has started to look like contenders in the Eastern conference recently and they have been playing well on both ends of the floor. They have put more emphasis on defense this season but they are still decent efficiency wise offensively ranking 10th and 11th in the NBA in efficiency and effective field-goal percentage respectively. Their shooting percentages across the board rank in about the middle of the league and they haven’t pushed the pace as much as they did last year. Still, this is a very solid Boston team that can score and moves the ball extremely well averaging 24 assists per game which ranks third in the NBA. Defensively they are playing better than last year and currently they are allowing opponents to shoot just 44.3% from the floor which ranks sixth in the NBA. Across the board they rank just inside of the top 10 in most defensive categories highlighted by ranking seventh and ninth in opponent effective field-goal percentage and field goals made respectively, along with allowing opponents to shoot just 34.1% from distance which will be the point of contention tonight. Although Cleveland has owned them their last several match ups most of the games have been competitive.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland continues to look like the best team in the East despite dropping their last game to Detroit in which they were not at full strength. Cleveland has continued their winning formula from last season by moving the ball, taking efficient shots, and shooting a high percentage from distance. Currently the Cavaliers are averaging 110.1 points per game which ranks fourth in the NBA, but more impressively is that they rank third in both shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. They also remain one of the best three-point shooting teams only hitting 39.8% from distance ranking them second. However, on the other side of the ball I believe Boston will have some good opportunities score as Cleveland has been less than stellar this season. Although they allow opponents to shoot just 44.5% of the floor ranking them 11th opponents have been able to knock down 39.2 field goals per game which ranks them 17th in the league defensively. With the line set how it is expect Boston to score enough to stay within the number.

NBA Odds

Oddsmakers have made Boston a +6 underdog and for my NBA pick I will grab the points. Although I am hard-pressed to think Boston can pull off the upset I see no problem with them taking this game to the wire.

Free NBA Pick: Boston +6Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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