For the second time in four days, the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics will be battling it out. Charlotte came away with a win in the first meeting, in what was a surprising letdown for Boston. The teams are not far away from one another in the standings, and for a possible advantage in the play-in, this battle is going to carry a lot of weight.
LaMelo Ball continues to rehab his wrist with the hopes of returning to the floor any day now. Gordon Hayward remains out, but the team remains optimistic that should they remain in the play-in tourney, that he’ll be back. Malik Monk is trending in the right direction, too, as all three guys generally playing a huge role in what they do. At full strength, this is a pesky Hornets team with a lot of talent.
Boston did something on Tuesday night that nobody had done for several weeks in the NBA this year. They lost a game to the Thunder, who were comfortable with losing and just continuing to move up in the ping pong ball lottery. They could not win a game that was basically going to be handed to them on a platter, even with Rob Williams and Jayson Tatum out. They have no excuse for that one and have to bounce back fast.
The spread for Wednesday night favors the home Celtics by -7.5 points. The over/under is set at 219.5.
Hornets Trying to Get Back to .500
30-31 is a record that few folks outside of Charlotte expected the team to have at this point. But realistically, they would have more wins than this if they were at full strength. A number of guys have had their roles change pretty drastically since the year began, up to now. Anything can happen on any given night, but they are much better when the players are healthy.
PJ Washington being back has given them a lift, but constantly, Terry Rozier has been jacking shots and falling short. They lost to Milwaukee on Tuesday night, and they hope to avoid a second defeat in as many nights, just like their counterpart.
Let’s see what they are made of.
Celtics Look for Critical Victory
A couple of losses won’t be doomsday for Boston. But every game that they lose, it becomes more likely that they fall into the play-in tournament and out of the ordinary postseason seedings. 3-6 and 4-5 are going to happen as scheduled, while the top two seeds will have to wait and see what winds up happening.
Winning without your best player isn’t easy, but the Celtics have no valid excuse for why they lost to the Thunder. This is a group that has a lot of terrific depth, the return of Evan Fournier giving them a bit of a lift that was missing. Romeo Langford and Grant Williams have provided quality minutes off Brad Stevens’ bench.
Celtics Win It at Home
Boston will get it done on their home floor, taking down the Hornets and creating more separation.
FREE PLAY: BOSTON -7.5
OVER/UNDER: OVER 219.5
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