NBA Picks: Celtics -9 To Cover And Defeat Lakers In Late Game

Joe Catalano

Sunday, April 3, 2016 6:00 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 3, 2016 6:00 PM GMT

It's been one of the biggest rivalries in the NBA in the last 3½ decades as the Los Angeles Lakers (16-59) square off against the Boston Celtics (44-32). While the Celtics are contending, will Kobe Bryant put on a show is the question?

Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 9:30 p.m. EST at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. According to SBRodds, the Celtics are the clear favorites on the road, coming into this game as a 9 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed a 209.

 

Kobe's Last Game Against the Celts
Although Kobe Bryant wasn't involved in the major Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rivalries, this game will still be huge as Bryant has participated in plenty of battles as his 5 World Championships can attest to.

The problem for the Lakers is that they don't have the firepower that they used to and although they have a ton of young talent, they're a young and inexperienced basketball team.

On the other hand, Boston, comes into this game with a lot on the line. Currently, the Celtics are tied for 5th with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference with a 44-32 mark and at this point, it's a matter of positioning.

Certain teams would rather have easier 1st round matchups. While Boston appears to be a certain winner in this game, I've seen the Lakers beat Stephen Curry and the Defending World Champion Golden State Warriors at home and dominate. Point being, anything can happen and Kobe Bryant will be going all out here.

 

Major Momentum
Speaking of the Golden State Warriors, I feel that the Boston Celtics are going to come into this game with a ton of momentum. They just took down the Golden State Warriors in a 109-106 win on Friday at the Oracle Center and that ended a 54 game home winning streak.

The streak had to end and Boston made a statement as they held the Warriors to just 43 1st half points.

 

IT2
When many people heard that there was going to be a second Isaiah Thomas in the league aside from the hall of famer, they laughed. Well, IT2 is no joke as he can drain the rock from anywhere on the court. He leads this Celtics team that features semi-stars such as Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley, even Evan Turner as this is a very reliable core of hustlers that bring it every night.

 

Evan Turner
For the season, IT2 leads the Celtics with 22.3 points, 6.3 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. I look for him to have a big game.

In his last 10 games, Thomas is averaging 24.3 points per game. Another member of the Celtics that should have a good game is Evan Turner. Turner is coming off of an all around solid game on each side of the court with 21 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. If the Celtics got a bit more of half of that from Turner, they would be satisfied.

 

Calling It A Season
At 16-59, the Lakers do see some promise, but they're just looking to call it a season and the NBA odds prove that fact.

After a 4 game losing streak, the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 102-100 in their last game as the trio of Jordan Clarkson (26 points, 6 rebounds), Julius Randle (13 points, 14 rebounds), and D'angelo Russell (16 points) led the way and that's mostly what you'll see here as defense isn't a strength in this game. That said, the Celtics simply have more experience and much more to play for, which is why we'll make them our NBA Picks tonight.

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Free NBA Pick:  Celtics -9
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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