The Celtics will head to Staples Center to face the Clippers on Wednesday, finishing their little L.A. back-to-back. This will mark their last ever time playing there before the name change to Crypto.com Arena happens later in the month. This is going to be a chance for them to avoid a sweep and to try and find a quick turnaround after losing to the Lakers.
With the crowd booing Dennis Schroder all night, the team was unable to get things going. Jayson Tatum brought his best, scoring 34, but the bench was not sharp when it had to be, and so they took a loss to fall to 13-12. They have been hot of late, winning 11 of 17 coming into Tuesday, but one loss is all it takes to stifle such progress.
As for the Clippers, they are now at 12-12 after winning their last game. It has not been simple without Kawhi Leonard here, but they have managed to be solid.
Serge Ibaka has finally returned, though he is not 100% cleared to play back-to-back sets. Paul George has been playing like an MVP, while Luke Kennard has been enjoying his best stretch since first being traded by Detroit.
This is a game that features a lot of incredible defensive players and perimeter shooters. The ultimate outcome is going to be decided by which team can lock in and focus for the full 48 minutes.
Boston Looking to Bounce Back Quickly
The game with the Lakers can be quickly forgotten for the C’s. That is the rare positive out of a back-to-back set on the road.
Most eastern conference teams do the two Clippers/Lakers as a set of playing them next to each other, making it easier on the travel. An extra night in Hollywood so that they do not have to return at any point in the year.
With Jaylen Brown likely to remain a question mark on gamedays, there could be a little flux. Schroder is enjoying the extra playing time, but it is hurting bench production and also consistency, sort of like how things were with Kemba Walker a season ago.
Their defense is still incredibly well-anchored with Rob Williams and Al Horford, along with Marcus Smart. And all of them need to lock in to slow the Clips.
Clippers Look to Move Back Over .500
It has been a very odd start for the Clippers this year, but there has been one underlying theme: Grit. The team is not winning as much as they did the last two years, and that is to be expected.
There is a lot wrong with the team and plenty of holes. Injuries, too, with Kawhi not around. But, they never quit.
The addition of Isaiah Hartenstein allows for 48 minutes of quality center play on both ends. PG has been playing incredibly well. And, of course, Reggie Jackson is showing that he can be a consistent scoring option.
Marcus Morris’ return led to an improved 3-pt shooting percentage as a unit. They need to focus on defense if they want this win.
Boston will take a second loss in as many nights, succumbing to defeat against a shifty Clippers team.
Betting Pick: Clippers
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