The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are set to narrowly make the playoffs, but there is plenty of regular seasons left.
Boston has been struggling to produce its best form and it has been a frustrating watch for loyal fans. A lack of cohesion and passion has plagued the Celtics in 2021, so something needs to change.
New York has been the surprise package so far, but with four losses from its last five games, regressing back to the norm is entirely possible.
The Boston Celtics regained some confidence by beating Oklahoma City, Houston, and Charlotte, but they’re bad teams. Boston hasn’t been able to beat the high-quality teams, as evident when losing to New Orleans and Dallas.
There is a distinct lack of cohesion on the court for the Celtics and it’s reminiscent of a team that hasn’t played together. However, this Celtics team knows each other well, so that can’t be used as an excuse.
Not having a legitimate center doesn’t help. Tristan Thompson is set to come back soon and they desperately need his paint presence. Boston has been torched by the big men in the paint and a prime example was against Philadelphia on Tuesday.
The Celtics had no one to defend Joel Embiid and he made them look silly. It’s only one of many problems for the Celtics, who also turned the ball over more times than you would want to count.
Evan Fournier won’t be playing any time soon either. He was ruled out due to protocols before the 76ers game.
“Evan, that’s tough,” Brown told NBA.com. “That’s been our season. It’s unfortunate. It’s been a year – it’s been our story, for the most part. Hopefully, we can get him back in time and still make a run without him. Play some basketball and keep this thing going.”
The individual brilliance is there, but as a team, coach Brad Stevens has his work cut out for him. He needs to determine the psyche of his team because we can’t figure it out.
Knicks Come Back Down To Earth
It looked as though the Knicks could rise the Eastern Conference rankings in style, but a recent losing slump has ended that notion.
New York Knicks was 24-22 at one stage, but four losses from its last five games haven’t helped. The return of Derrick Rose is a positive, but he couldn’t help the Knicks get past the Nets.
The Knicks held a sizable lead over the Nets, which was playing with James Harden after he left in the fourth minute. However, they gave up the lead late in the fourth and it was a disappointing effort.
This team is capable of making the NBA playoffs, so there’s still hope. Julius Randle is playing excellent basketball and he is steadily getting help from his teammates.
R.J. Barrett has increased his average to 17.3 PPG and there are four other players who average double figures. Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton are all playing meaningful minutes.
We expect NBA lines to favor Boston, but bettors should expect a tough effort from New York, and it even might win the game outright.
Knicks vs Celtics Betting Trends
There isn’t much between these two teams when it comes to covering spreads. Boston is 24-26 ATS and 14-10-0 at home. New York is 29-21-1 and 16-11-0 on the road.
Those statistics slightly favor New York and we take a look at the deeper betting trends which could predict the outcome of Wednesday’s contest.
- Knicks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Knicks are 17-8-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
- Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games playing on no days’ rest.
- Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Boston.
Knicks vs Celtics Game Pick
We continue to give Boston the benefit of the doubt, but enough is enough. It’s time to jump off the Boston bandwagon until it proves otherwise.
Bettors get value odds with New York in this situation and it comes into the game with some rest under its belt. Boston plays back-to-back after losing to Philadelphia at home and that’s not going to help.
We don’t know if Tristan Thompson will be back, but either way, Julius Randle should be able to get into the paint and dominate.
It’s sad to see Boston playing so poorly, but we won’t let sentiments get in the way of making an NBA pick.