CELTICS LOOK TO UPSET IN THE STAPLES CENTER
Lakers vs.Celtics – it’s no 1986 Sunday hype, but this is a fun match-up today! The Lakers are the home favorite (-7) and the over/under is set at 225.5. The last time these two faced, the Celtics handed the Lakers the worst loss of their season. They beat the snot out of them by 32 points. The line is high because All-Star guard Kemba Walker is out for the game. Therefore, you will see Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum pick up the ball-handling for him.
The Lakers are coming off a comfortable win against the gritty Memphis Grizzlies. LeBron scored 32 in that game, and Anthony Davis had 28 points and 13 rebounds. Though Anthony Davis is a far superior big man than anyone on the Celtics, starting center Daniel Theis is coming off a career night (25 points, 16 rebounds) against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics have the length on the wings to slow down LeBron with Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, and Tatum, who did a great job down the stretch in forcing Kawhi to defer in late-game scenarios against the Clippers.
The Celtics will miss Kemba Walker, but he was also out last game. And if Gordon Hayward goes off for 29 points, Tatum for 28 points, Theis for 25 points, and Jaylen Brown for 25 points, finding scoring will NOT be the issue. The issue will be slowing down Anthony “Unibrow” Davis. Brad Stevens will definitely be sending some double-teams when he is close to the hoop, where Danny Green makes his money on the catch-and-shoot out of those.
I think the Lakers will come out hot, but the Celtics play tough in national games. So my play is to take the Celtics with the points +7. The Celtics will have to stretch out on the floor and not allow the likes of AD and Dwight Howard to kill them inside. I think Kanter will come into play, and play a bit more tonight because of his size, and will hopefully be a difference-maker with the second unit.
DEAF PICK OF THE DAY: BOSTON CELTICS +7
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