Clippers vs. Celtics: Hard Defensive Battle Makes 'Under' Our NBA Pick

Charles Stark

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:38 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 12:38 PM GMT

Two of the NBA's hottest teams matchup when the Los Angeles Clippers come in to take on the Boston Celtics. This should be a very tough contest, who will be our NBA pick?

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NBA Pick: Under 208.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Clippers vs. Celtics
NBA odds experts have come out setting the total for this game at 208.5 and Boston a 2 point favorite.  For one of my selection today I will back under this total as I think it is simply set too high. Both of these teams can play some defense and I expect them to do so tonight.

 

Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are averaging 104.3 points per game while shooting 46.3% from the field, and allowing 100.2 points per game on 43.7% shooting from the field. On the season Los Angeles is 22-28-2 overall on their over under totals, and 12-14-1 on the road. They really are an amazing story considering how well they have played without Blake Griffin, and they have been getting it done on both sides of the floor. Because they have done a really nice job in controlling the pace and tempo of games, as well as playing great defense, I expect this game not to be as up-tempo as some anticipate. Boston will want to do the contrary, but they also play very good defense which makes me lean to the fact that this game will be more of a defensive battle. Offensively the Clippers rank in the top five in the NBA in overall shooting percentage, two point shooting percentage and effective field-goal percentage. As well, they have been shooting great beyond the arc at 36% per game which ranks seventh in the league. The efficiency is there and so is the scoring, but as mentioned they really control the pace and average only 82.7 field-goal attempts per game which ranks 22nd in the league. Defensively they have some really nice statistics and rank fifth in the NBA in opponent overall shooting percentage and effective field-goal percentage. On top of that they have been defending from the inside out very well allowing opponents to shoot just 46.9% on their two point shots which ranks third in the league, and 34.4% from beyond the arc which ranks 11th. Somehow they continue to get it done, an argument really has to start to be made maybe this is simply a better team without Blake Griffin. They have been forced to play differently than with Griffin and this kind of basketball has suited them better, the statistics back it up.

 

Boston Celtics
Boston averages 105 points per game while shooting 43.9% from the field and allowing 100.7 points per game on 43.1% shooting from the field. On the season they are 25-28 overall on their over under totals, and 14-12 at home. Along with Los Angeles they have been one of the hottest teams this past month and are really starting to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Offensively their shooting percentages are not great, but what they lack in that category they make up for in tempo. Boston ranks first in the NBA averaging 89.5 field-goal attempts per game, and they make 39.3 of those per average which ranks fifth. Tonight they face a tough Clippers defense which should be able to slow them down somewhat because as far as shooting percentages from the inside out, they rank in the bottom third of the league. Defensively they are very underrated and they defend well from the paint to the perimeter on this side of the ball. Boston ranks fourth in the NBA in opponent overall shooting percentage, opponent shooting efficiency, and opponent effective field-goal percentage. They also rank third allowing opponents to shoot just 32.3% from beyond the arc which will be a point of contention tonight against a good three point shooting team in the Clippers. The Celtics also are really good at limiting extra passes and rank second in the league allowing just 20.3 assists per game. On both sides of the ball they're playing very good basketball and Brad Stevens has this team clicking.

This total is just a bit too high in my opinion so for one of your NBA picks today I recommend backing under the total between the Clippers and the Celtics. This should be a really hard-fought defensive battle with a controlled pace that will probably come down to the last few minutes. It'll be very interesting to see which team continues their hot streak.

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