When and where: January 18, 2020, TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 PM ET
The slumping Boston Celtics desperately hope to avoid their sixth loss in eight games on Saturday when hosting the visiting Phoenix Suns. It could be nearing a time of reflection with the Celtics on the verge of losing their sixth game in eight outings. They are coming off back-to-back losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons. Meanwhile, the Suns managed to get back on the winning track by ramrodding the New York Knicks in a 121-98 road victory.
Ayton steps up big when neededDevin Booker has a knack for being the offensive superman for the Suns. However, the team desperately needed someone else to step up with Kelly Oubre Jr. sidelined with a head injury against the Knicks. Leave it to the big-man, Deandre Ayton, to drop 26 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help lead the Suns to a 121-98 victory.
Ricky Rubio also turned in a 25-point performance with 13 assists to help complete the blowout. It’ll take another scintillating performance for the Suns to fend off the Celtics’ fourth-ranked defense. Perhaps they can find some hope in Boston allowing 116-plus points in each of their last two games. The Suns are averaging a 49.0 field goal shooting percentage in their last three games.
The trio of Booker, Ayton and Rubio can still cause problems for the Celtics. Oubre has already been ruled out for Saturday’s game, while rookie Cameron Johnson is questionable with a quad injury.
Phoenix’s 18th-ranked defense is the greatest concern when breaking down this matchup. Opposing teams are averaging 114.3 points per game against them on the road. You can rest assured the Celtics will take advantage if the Suns can’t consistently contest shots.
Celtics playing like impostersWho are these Celtics?
I’m talking about the Celtics team that is allowing 115.0 points per game in their last three outings on defense. It’s the Celtics team that has allowed a pitiful 51.6 field goal shooting percentage to opponents. Who is this team that is in danger of losing three straight games after dropping five of their last seven?
Coach Brad Stevens will do his best to find out when the team takes the floor on Saturday against the Suns.
With Jaylen Brown listed as questionable with a thumb injury, the team could use a greater boost from the bench than they had in their 128-123 loss to the Bucks. The Suns have the 10th-ranked scoring offense in the league. Don’t sleep on their ability to get buckets against a Celtics team that is seeming going through the motions.
Star guard Kemba Walker is one of the few that doesn’t belong in that category. He dropped 40 points in an effort to top Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. And it still wasn’t enough. However, he should be salivating for an opportunity to pile on the scoreboard against the Suns’ shaky offense.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Suns are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Suns are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days’ rest.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.