New Orleans Pelicans vs Boston Celtics Preview

Via Sky Sports

New Orleans Pelicans vs Boston Celtics Preview

NBA

New Orleans Pelicans vs Boston Celtics Preview

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Via Sky Sports

The Boston Celtics will be traveling down to the Bayou to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in an inter-conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm EST from the Smoothie King Center. These two teams played each other a few weeks ago with Boston coming out on top with a score of 104-92 on their home floor. This will be the final regular season meeting between these two squads as New Orleans looks to even up the season series. Both teams come in after losing last night and are looking to regain some type of momentum going forward. Boston comes in with a record of 25-25 and have a road record of 9-15 while New Orleans has a record of 18-30 with a home record of 11-12.

Boston is 6-4 over their last ten games while New Orleans has split the last ten going 5-5 overall. The Pelicans will likely be without forward Brandon Ingram once again as he battles through an injury. It has been a disappointing year for New Orleans as they have been without Zion Williamson for the entire season. The former first overall pick hasn’t been able to stay healthy and his absence has been apparent for this Pelicans team.

How Boston can win: The Celtics are coming off a game last night against the Atlanta Hawks where they missed 12 of their first 13 three-point attempts and finished seven of 36 overall. The team shot only 34.9 percent from the field in this loss and will need to play much better if they want to avoid another poor outing. This team still has Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown but have struggled this season with the role players around them. Point guard Dennis Schröder is the only other player on the team that is averaging more than 12 points per game with his 15 a game, and the team overall ranks 19th in the NBA in offensive rating. Against a banged-up Pelicans squad, the Celtics should look to attack the rim and open up some shooting lanes. Especially if Jonas Valančiūnas misses this game, the paint could be open for business for Boston.

The Celtics are averaging 108 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting and are allowing 104.9 a game on 43.7 percent shooting from opposing teams. Tatum is leading the way for Boston, averaging 25.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game on 42.5 percent shooting from the field. The team will need him to be a facilitator against the Pelicans if they are to get a road win.

How New Orleans can win: Going up against a team like Boston that boasts multiple All-Star caliber players, the Pelicans need to do the simple things of basketball in order to win. The first key is to make sure they win the rebounding battle against Boston. New Orleans is ninth in the league with 45.6 rebounds per game, led by center Jonas Valančiūnas, who is averaging 12 a game. Valančiūnas has been a major part in keeping this Pelicans team competitive while they have dealt with numerous amounts of injuries over the season, while also averaging 18.3 points per game. However, he is currently questionable for this game so losing him would make stealing a win from the Celtics even harder. If he is out, players like Herbert Jones and Willy Hernangomez will need to take on a heavier load.

The team as a whole has averaged 105.5 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting and is allowing opposing teams to score 109.7 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting. The team is shooting 33.8 percent from beyond the three-point line and 78.1 percent from the free throw line. The Pelicans will need to not beat themselves in this game if they are going to take down the Celtics.

The Spread Via FanDuel:

Moneyline: BOS: (-225) | NO: (+188)

Spread: BOS: -6 (-108) | NO: +6 (-112)

Final Prediction: Boston Celtics 113 New Orleans Pelicans 104

-The Pelicans are banged up but still have played hard against most teams of late. They typically have played better at home, and I see no difference in this game. However, the Celtics are the better team and have the ability to put out better players, so I lean towards the road team in this matchup.

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