Los Angeles Clippers (31-19 SU, 24-26 ATS, 29-21 O/U) vs. Boston Celtics (32-18 SU, 26-22-2 ATS, 29-21 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, February 5, 2017, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 2 pm ET
Line: Boston -5; Over/Under: 222
It’s an inter-conference rivalry up in Beantown as the other team from the City of Angels comes to town. The Los Angeles Clippers are in town as they visit the Atlantic Division leading Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles lost for the third time in four games as they were knocked off 133-120 at home by Golden State Thursday night. Boston won their sixth straight by taking down the Lakers, 113-107, at home Friday night. The Celtics have a commanding 86-38 lead in the all-time regular season series. The teams split two meetings last season with the Clippers taking a 114-90 win in the last matchup on March 28, 2016 at the Staples Center.
LA Clippers Try to Get Back in Win Column
LA had another offensive bonanza but they didn’t have the defense to slow a Golden State team that was minus Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia. The Clippers trailed by 11 after the opening quarter and couldn’t really dent the Warriors lead the rest of the way. LA shot an even 50 percent from the field and knocked in 10 of 25 from beyond the arc in the game. The problems for the Clippers were numerous: they allowed Golden State to shoot 52.5 percent overall and 14 of 34 from three point range. LA also saw the Warriors win the rebounding battle 46-37 and turned the ball over 15 times. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 31 points plus eight boards in the loss.
The Clippers are currently 6th in the league in scoring offense with 108.4 points per game this season. LA is 16th in the league in rebounding with 43.4 boards per game and 13th in assists with 22.5 per contest. The Clippers are solid defensively, ranking 10th in scoring defense by allowing 104.7 points per game. Blake Griffin leads the team with 21.4 points plus 8.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Chris Paul contributes 17.5 points, 9.7 assists and 2.25 steals per game. J.J. Redick contributes 15.7 points a night, Jamal Crawford chips in 12 points a game in a sixth man role and DeAndre Jordan puts up 12.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per night. Marreese Speights (10 points, 4.8 boards), Austin Rivers (12 points), Luc Mbah a Moute, Paul Pierce and Raymond Felton are key pieces off the bench. LA is 5th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 47 percent from the floor. The Clippers are 8th in three pointers a game with 10.3 and 4th in three point shooting as they hit 38 percent.
Boston Celtics Go For Seventh Straight Victory
Boston won their sixth straight game as they took down the Lakers. The win, coupled with Toronto’s loss to Orlando on the road, opened Boston’s edge in the Atlantic Division to 2.5 games. The Celtics erased a one point deficit after the opening quarter by outscoring the Lakers 33-21 in the second quarter and didn’t relinquish the advantage despite Los Angeles’s charge in the second half. Boston shot 47.6 percent from the field in the game and knocked down 13 of 35 from three point range in the contest. Boston held the Lakers to 39.4 percent from the field in the game. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 38 points in the victory.
The Celtics come into this contest 7th in the league in scoring offense with 108.3 points per game. Boston is 28th in the league in rebounding with 41.4 boards per game but stand 3rd with 25.4 assists per contest. Boston is below average on the defensive end: they currently stand 19th in scoring defense, allowing 105.7 points per game. Isaiah Thomas leads the Celtics with 29.9 points plus 6.3 assists per game. Jae Crowder chips in 14.3 points plus 5.4 boards a contest. Avery Bradley puts up 17.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists a night. Al Horford has averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Marcus Smart chips in 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest. Tyler Zeller, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier and Gerald Green are key pieces in the rotation. Boston is tied for 15th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 45.4 percent from the floor. The Celtics are 4th in three pointers per game with 12.1 while the team is 8th in three point percentage as they hit 36.8 percent from beyond the arc.
- Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- Clippers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- Celtics are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Celtics are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 Sunday games
The Clippers are struggling to stop other teams from putting points on the board of late and that’s a disturbing trend, especially in the Western Conference. There are a ton of high octane offense in the West with Golden State, Houston and San Antonio right at the top of the food chain. Boston is playing well right now and once Bradley comes back from his Achilles strain, they may open up a bigger lead in the Atlantic Division standings. Look for Boston to take advantage of Paul missing as Thomas has another big game to lead the Celtics to a win.
Pick: Boston Celtics -5
Both teams are putting up solid offensive production this season. Defensively, there are things that are in need of improvement but both teams are battling with key personnel missing that can help on that end of the floor. Bradley is making his return in the near future and he is Boston’s top lockdown defender. The Clippers clearly miss Paul as not only is he an offensive catalyst, he is the fulcrum of their defensive pressure. Seeing LA give up a total of 277 points in two games to the Warriors this week showed just how valuable Paul is to their lineup.
The over is 5-0 in the Clippers last 5 overall, 4-0 in their last 4 road games, 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 5-0 in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Boston has seen the under go 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 7-2 in their last 9 vs. Western Conference and 8-3 in their last 11 games playing on 1 day of rest. The teams have combined to go over the total in four of their last five games in Boston. Seeing the point totals both teams have put up lately, plus this being Pierce’s last game at the TD Garden, look for it to go over the number.