Celtics vs. Nets NBA Picks
Two surging teams clash on Thursday night when the Boston Celtics visit the Brooklyn Nets in a potential playoff preview.
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 07:30 PM EST at Barclays Center
The Dragic Effect?
Nets general manager Sean Marks didn’t rule out Kevin Durant and/or Ben Simmons taking the floor for this game or against the Bucks on Saturday. Marks said that it will depend on how each respond to practice leading up to those contests. Someone who will definitely won’t play against the Celtics is Kyrie Irving (plus-2.7 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), for reasons we all know by now but Goran Dragic will likely make his debut and while the sample size is small (just five games with the Raptors), he’s a massive upgrade on defense over Irving this season and he has good chemistry with head coach Steve Nash as they were teammates in the Suns.
Goran Dragic: plus-2.3 Defensive Box Plus/Minus
Kyrie Irving: minus-1.9 Defensive Box Plus/Minus
The Nets are getting back on track, having won two of their last three games but the Celtics are an even hotter team, going 9-1in their last 10 games, including a 126-91 road win against the Nets on February 8 but they’re coming off a disappointing 112-111 home loss against the weak Pistons on February 16.
The Pistons were on an eight-game losing streak but they went to Boston and outrebounded the Celtics 47 to 30, forced 17 turnovers and made 16 of 30 (53.3 percent) 3-pointers, while limiting the C’s to just 13-for-32 (40.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The Celtics got just 13 points from three reserves and another evening of poor bench play could cost them a cover on Thursday.
On paper, the Celtics should roll over a Nets team without Durant, Irving and Simmons, just like they did in the February 8 meeting but Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge and Goran Dragic didn’t play in that game and the Celtics will be without Marcus Smart (plus-2.0 Defensive Box Plus/Minus), who had 22 points on 8 of 16 shooting in that game, including 6 of 13 from beyond the arc and he’s their best defender.
I’m taking the Nets and the points at home. Rookie phenom Cam Thomas, Mills, Curry, Drummond and even Aldridge can help the Nets keep up with the Celtics and Dragic can energize the team at both ends of the floor and make plays. Enjoy the game and find more NBA picks here.
NBA Pick: Nets +5 (-115) at Bovada (visit BMR’s Bovada Review)