Two teams that battled each other to the finish in Boston a month ago are now set to do battle once more as the Celtics visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Boston has had several days off to rest up and prepare for this one, leaving an outside chance that Marcus Smart may be able to return and play. Rob Williams will be out several weeks with hip soreness and not partaking in it, leaving the center minutes to Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter. Through all of their injuries and misfortunes, Brad Stevens’ team has managed to win 17 of its first 24 games.
Dallas, on the other hand, received some bad news over the weekend, though it didn’t stop it from becoming only the fourth team in 28 games to knock off Milwaukee. Luka Doncic, who has been invincible this season as well as an MVP candidate, suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss several weeks.
So now, just like he was in New York, Kristaps Porzingis is once more his team’s top offensive option. We will see how he handles all the added focus and attention from opposing defenses.
Boston is favored by 1.5 points for the showdown, with the over/under set at 218.5 points.
Boston Looking For A Road Win
The Celtics have been able to seamlessly plug Gordon Hayward back into the starting lineup since his return without missing a beat, and that sums this team up perfectly. Smart has now missed seven games on the year, but yet when he is out, they continue to get it done.
Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker are both averaging better than 20 points per game and will be considered for All-Star recognition. And after getting paid a lofty amount of bucks, Jaylen Brown has come alive and is playing the best basketball of his career this season.
Kanter is adjusting to his new role but has been okay with his eight points and six boards off the pine.
Brad Wanamaker has cemented himself as the primary backup point guard and is showing what his years of being a European journeyman have done for him. This team is fantastic.
Short-Handed But Getting It Done
Luka who? Next superstar what? With Doncic out of the lineup, the Mavericks still found a way to hang 120 points on the Bucks and take down the hottest team from the East. They have the third-highest scoring offense in the NBA thanks to having good outside shooters at every position and several facilitators playing together.
Only three guys are averaging in double figures, but they have other guys always stepping up, scoring when needed, just like the 23 they got from Seth Curry Monday night.
Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright have had their moments, while Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell do what’s asked. They are even getting decent productivity from Justin Jackson and the defensive-minded Dorian Finney-Smith.
Mavs Get It Done At Home
Luka or not, here they come. The Mavs will win a close one over Boston at home! Porzingis to the rescue.
Free Play: DAL +1.5
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