Prime For The Picking?

The Boston Celtics are not perfect. For now, they'll have to settle for owning the best record in the NBA.

The Celtics try to shake off their first loss of the season when they return home to face the suddenly surging Golden State Warriors.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Boston –10 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 214 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -10 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

On Sunday at Orlando, the Celtics (8-1) became the NBA's final team to lose in 2007-08, falling 104-102 to the Magic. Boston rallied from a 20-point deficit, but the comeback fell short when Paul Pierce missed an off-balance jumper with time running out.

"We're not perfect,'' said power forward Kevin Garnett, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double in nine games as a Celtic. "We didn't think we were going to go 82-0. But we are a team of character. We do play hard. We do play together - just not perfect."

That doesn't mean they're not formidable. Even in defeat, the Celtics shot 53.3 (40-for-75) percent from the field as their new "Big Three" of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen continued to shine.

Pierce scored a game-high 28 points against Orlando, increasing his team-leading season average to 22.8. Garnett is easily averaging a double-double with 20.8 points and 13.3 boards per contest, while Allen is averaging 20.2 points and has already made 24 3-pointers this season.

Second-year guard Rajon Rondo also played well Sunday, scoring 18 points while making 8 of 9 field-goal attempts. Although he is scoring 10.3 points per game, Rondo is still looking to reach double figures in consecutive contests for the first time in 2007-08.

Boston is 5-0 at home this year, winning the first four games by an average of more than 22 points before a 92-91 win over Miami last Friday.

While the Celtics are a far different team from the one that went 24-58 last season, the Warriors (3-6) appear to be a vastly better club than the one that opened this season with six straight losses.

Golden State improved to 2-0 on its five-game road trip against Eastern Conference opponents by routing the New York Knicks 108-82 on Tuesday night. Baron Davis led the way with 31 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Warriors won their third straight game overall after the 0-6 start.

The return of Stephen Jackson has given Golden State a lift. After serving a seven-game league suspension to start the season, the team captain has totaled 40 points in the first two games of the road trip.

He filled up the stat sheet against the Knicks with 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots.

"He is a very good player,'' Golden State coach Don Nelson said of Jackson. "He's the heart and soul of our team. To have him back was a tremendous boost of confidence for our ballclub. Having him back in the lineup was a big relief for me, but an even bigger one for the team.''

The Warriors swept last season's two meetings with the Celtics, including a 96-95 road victory last Dec. 20 behind another 31-point effort from Davis.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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