Celtics Look to Improve on Their ATS Record & The Heat Need a Win Tonight

Troy Haliburton

Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 8:02 PM UTC

Boston will take on New York in an attempt to gain some ground on the Toronto Raptors in the race for first place in the East, while the Heat need a win against Memphis to create separation between themselves and Detroit for the eighth seed.

Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks

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Free NBA Pick: Celtics -5Best Line Offered: at JustBet

Boston was glad to get to the All-Star break to get some rest for the simple fact that they had already played 59 games, the most of any team before the break. Boston had lost three in a row before the break but came back after All-Star with a big win against the Detroit Pistons. In that win against Detroit, the Celtics were lead in scoring by rookie Daniel Theis.

New York had a big victory of their own on Thursday when the defeated the Orlando Magic in a futile attempt to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Knicks are going with a youth movement in their backcourt by starting Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard over veteran Jarrett Jack. Mudiay will start and the backup minutes behind him will go to Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke who scored a season-high 26 points in the win against Orlando. New York is still trying to figure out how they would like to play without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup. Since the unicorn has been gone, the Knicks have struggled to score the basketball, averaging only 95 points per game in the seven games in his absence.

Surprisingly the Knicks are one of the better home teams in the NBA with an ATS record of 16-12, the only problem is that a lot of that record was amassed before Porzingis went out with an injury. The Celtics will counter that trend with an 18-9 record ATS on the road this season and that means that Boston is comfortable playing on the road, especially against a team missing their star player.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Miami Heat

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Free NBA Pick: Heat -8.5Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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Grizzlies coach JB Bickerstaff said Tyreke Evans, who left with a rib injury and did not return in tonight's loss to Cleveland, will be reevaluated Saturday. Evans status for tomorrow's game at Miami and the two-game trip is in question.

— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) February 24, 2018

The Heat were finally getting back on track to the team that finished last season 31-10 and had many analysts suggesting that they would be one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference. Miami is currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak and need to get back to the way that they were playing in the month of January. The Heat had to get over a bout of early season injuries, especially to star center Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is anchoring the Heat defense with his 1.64 blocks per game and his 12.6 rebounds per game. While Whiteside is doing his job at protecting the paint, the rest of the team has to improve at keeping teams off of the 3-point line. The Heat are giving up 37.8% from behind the arc to opposing teams, ranking 25th in the NBA. Luckily for them the Memphis Grizzlies only shoot 34.8 % from three, ranking 27th in the NBA.

Memphis’ season has been in a complete tailspin ever since Mike Conley was injured earlier in the year. This is a game that Miami needs badly to stay in front of the Pistons in the tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race for eighth place. Miami lost last night 124-123 in overtime to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Grizzlies started their post All-Star break with a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night and in that game lost their best player, Tyreke Evans who left the game in the fourth quarter due to a rib injury. Miami will win this game in order to create some separation between themselves and the Pistons and because Memphis has no incentive whatsoever to win.

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