Following a comeback victory over the Hornets on Friday, the Celtics (23-33) get a true test tonight at the Garden as Boston takes on one of the best teams in the NBA-The Golden State Warriors (45-11). The Celtics have won seven of their last ten and are looking to win their fourth consecutive against the Warriors tonight. The Warriors edged the Celtics in their last meeting on Jan 25, as Klay Thompson led Golden State to a 114-111 victory.
The Celtics have looked like a different team following the new acquisitions of Isaiah Thomas and Jonas Jerebko in separate trades. Boston will be without big men Jared Sullinger (out for the season) and Kelly Olynyk who is nursing a nagging ankle injury. During the recent three game winning streak Boston has been led by Isaiah Thomas who has brought a new level of energy and playmaking ability to the Celtics. Jerebko looked great against the Hornets on Friday, scoring 20 in only 21 minutes of play.
It will be interesting to see how the Celtics hold up against the Warriors, who at this point are considered the favorites to win the NBA Championship. While Thomas has been the offensive spark plug the Celtics have been lacking, he will likely have his hands full while trying to guard Warriors star Steph Curry. Also, whether it’s Smart or Bradley, the Celtics guards will be challenged to keep up with Klay Thompson, who scored 31 in their last meeting.
The Warriors have had momentary lapses this season against the Eastern Conference–most recently on February 22nd, when Golden a State lost to the improving Pacers. We can only hope that the home court advantage works in the Celtics’ favor tonight as the Warriors are a dangerous offensive team. While I love how the Celtics have been playing I find it hard to believe they have the firepower to stay with Golden State in this one. Oddsmakers have the Warriors as 8.5 point favorites and I expect Golden State to win and cover the spread.
Prediction: Warriors 110, Celtics 95
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