The West Coast swing continues for the Celtics, as they will be off to Sacramento for a date with the Kings. Fresh off a win against the size-less Warriors, they will look to slow down a Kings team playing some of its best basketball of late. Boston is currently playing without Marcus Smart, who has further upped his game with some incredible play this season.
The Celts currently sit at 11-8, despite playing a long stretch without Jayson Tatum. When you consider that, along with the fact that they have often used a two-big lineup, it is truly impressive they sit where they do. Not to knock Tristan Thompson, but he does not fit well as a PF and has not since his earlier days with the Cavaliers once upon a time. In the modern NBA, you need to space the floor.
Sacramento, meanwhile, has watched De’Aaron Fox go off over the past few weeks, with Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield continuing to make shots. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton has been more effective than they could have imagined, taking home Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January. Do they have what it takes to knock off the Celtics?
The spread for this one is set at Boston -1.5. The over/under is 226.5 points.
Celtics Looking to Stay Hot
They have had some ups and downs in 2020-21, but if you ask a Celtics fan, they would probably say that they are happy with how the team has performed. They were able to get over their loss against the Lakers by defeating the Warriors. And if they can beat the Kings, they would improve to 2-1 in their past three games in the state of California.
Jaylen Brown has been averaging over 27 points per game this year, stepping up as the leader this team did not realize they needed. He is still growing as a player and has shown significant improvements in every season of his young career. This, combined with a healthy Tatum, could be a recipe for taking the Eastern Conference by storm come playoff time.
If they want to win tonight, a solid defensive effort will need to be their calling card. The Celtics absolutely have to slow down the talented Kings backcourt.
Kings Looking to Defeat the Celtics
A win in this game could validate a lot of the effort we have started to see from Sacramento in recent weeks. De’Aaron has been on a tear, while Buddy Hield is back to making practically every three he throws up. They have gotten strong play off the bench from Hassan Whiteside, something we had not seen until this portion of the year. Surprisingly, Jabari Parker still has not gotten into a game yet.
Jabari Parker went from averaging over 20 points while starting for Atlanta last year, to only logging a few games for the Kings last year, to playing none this year. The bench rotation on the Kings is pretty tight, with Cory Joseph, Whiteside, and Tyrese Haliburton getting most of the minutes.
Can they pull this off tonight?
Sorry Kings, you will not pull this one off. Sacramento will fall short as the Celtics claim victory on the road.
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