Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Free NBA Picks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

The Atlantic Division is probably going to be won by the Toronto Raptors this season, but if any team can prevent the Raptors from winning the division, it’s the Brooklyn Nets. They are 3.5-point favorites on the NBA betting lines as they open their season in Boston.

The Brooklyn Nets Will Win Because…
Their new coach should have them ready for this game, and their opponent is missing its best player. The reality of this game is a simple one. The first thing to note is that Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins has found a home again in the NBA after a season away from the sport. Hollins was let go by the Memphis Grizzlies after reaching the 2013 Western Conference Finals. Hollins was a good fit for the Grizzlies. Hollins’ emphasis on defense was something his players were ready to follow, and so in the Eastern Conference, Hollins should be able to have a reasonable amount of success in taking over for Jason Kidd, the coach who feared he’d be fired and, as a result, bolted to Milwaukee to be the head coach of the Bucks. Hollins will have Brooklyn prepared on defense in this game, and he has a group of veteran players who should be able to put his plan into action.

Brooklyn being great on defense will make the Nets an even more solid team when matched against the Celtics. Boston would be a decent team when Rajon Rondo is on the floor, but the Celtics just can’t expect to do very much of anything without him, especially at the very start of the season. There’s going to be an adjustment period for the Celtics, and in an opening night situation, that’s probably going to be much too much for them to overcome. They need Rondo’s floor leadership, defense, and passing in this game. They won’t have any of it.

 

The Boston Celtics Will Win Because…
They're in possession of an asset who could blossom this season, and who might be able to change this game in unexpected ways. Jared Sullinger is the player who could become a breakout star this season in Boston, while Rondo sits on the shelf for the first several weeks of the season and number six draft pick Marcus Smart gets acclimated to the pro game. Sullinger’s shooting range has increased at a steady rate. He is a widebody in the low post, someone who will be extremely hard to get past for rebounds. Sullinger has a polished set of low-post skills. He is an effective offensive player with his back to the basket, but he’s more than adequate with his face-up game as well. If Sullinger plays a big game here, he might be able to provide a paint presence that Brooklyn won’t be able to match. The Nets have Kevin Garnett, but how much longer can they rely on such an old player? How many more good games does Garnett have left? Boston has a chance to get some work done near the basket, offsetting the advantage the Nets will have on the perimeter.

 

Outlook
The Nets might not start this game fluidly but with Rondo out of the Celtics’ lineup, Boston will just not be able to find enough ways to score. Brooklyn will pull away. Since you only have to lay a short number with the Nets, take them with your free NBA picks.

Free NBA Picks: Brooklyn at Bookmaker

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