Fired-Up Celtics Will Pull It Off As Our NBA Pick vs. Cavaliers

Charles Stark

Friday, February 5, 2016 12:23 PM GMT

Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern conference take center stage when the Boston Celtics visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who will be our NBA pick for tonight?

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NBA Pick: Celtics +7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

NBA odds makers have come out making Boston a +7 underdog and the total around 210. This is good value on a good team that is playing very well at this point in the season. I can understand why Cleveland would be such a strong home favorite but I don't see them playing a lot of defense recently so I expect the Celtics to be able to score. For one of my selections I will back Boston getting the points.

 

Boston Celtics
Boston is averaging 104.6 points per game while shooting 43.7% from the field, and allowing 100.3 points per game on 43% shooting from the field. On the season they are 28-22-1 overall against the spread, and 15-11 on the road. In their last 10 games the Celtics are 7-3, and their three losses were all tight contests on the road. They have been one of the best teams in the NBA these past few weeks, and I expect nothing less than a maximum effort from this team tonight. Offensively although their percentages are less than stellar because of their tempo they are able to put up a lot of points. The Celtics rank first in the NBA averaging 89.5 field goals attempted per game, making 39.1 of those which ranks them fifth in the league. They also rank in the top 10 in three-pointers attempted and made per game. They can score from the inside out and they move the ball unselfishly averaging 24.3 assists per game, as well the C's hit the glass averaging 53.5 total rebounds per game which ranks seventh in the NBA. On the other side of the ball is where I like them tonight and where they will have to step up against a revamped Cavaliers offense. On the season the Celtics rank fifth in opponent shooting efficiency, and fourth in effective field-goal percentage. They also rank fourth, sixth, and third in opponent overall shooting percentage, and opponent two and three point shooting percentage respectively. I could write forever on how good a coach Brad Stevens has been and will be going forward for this franchise. He knows how to coach in big-game situations, and this will feel like a playoff type of game tonight. If Cleveland continues to play defense like they have recently I give Boston a decent shot to pull the upset, or at the very least take this game to the wire.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland is averaging 102.2 points per game while shooting 45.7% from the field, and allowing 96.7 points per game on 44.5% shooting from the field. On the season they are 22-24-2 overall against the spread, and 11-11 at home. With this new Cavaliers team under new leadership it is very evident how much tempo they are trying to push, the issue I had and have with this idea though, is that this will affect them on the defensive end. As far as wins go, they are proving me wrong because their offense has been absolutely dominant which has made up for their lack deficiencies on defense (more on that in a second). Offensively, recently they look like a completely different team under Tyronn Lue as far as their pace goes, but overall on the season they have solid statistics as well. The Cavaliers rank in the top 10 in most of the important offensive categories, and 12th shooting 35.6% from beyond the arc. They have really been clicking on this end of the floor as demonstrated in five of the last seven games. Still, there should be a bit of concern about their defense. Also in five of their last seven games they have allowed opponents to shoot an average of around 48%, which would put them last defensively in the league. Obviously they have made up for this with their tremendous play on the offensive side, but this could be a bad sign. I predict if they continue to run at a frenetic pace, they are going to have some issues with some of the better teams in the league. I could be wrong, but I don't remember Mike D'Antoni winning any championships.

This is good value tonight on a good Boston team that is playing as good as anybody not named Golden State in the league. Expect them to put up a tough battle tonight and to find some gaps in what has been a porous Cavaliers defense these past seven games. For one of my NBA picks I will take Boston plus the points to take this game to the wire.