Two of the better young teams in the NBA square off on Monday night, with the Dallas Mavericks traveling to take on the Boston Celtics.
It has been an impressive start for the Mavericks at 6-3, though they took a surprising loss at the hands of the New York Knicks on Friday night. Luka Doncic at age 20 and Kristaps Porzingis at age 24 have proven themselves worthy of being in consideration for the top young duo in all of the league. Both of them go through remarkable stretches on both ends of the floor and have the squad that has been awaiting a playoff-like team finally ready to contend again. They cannot be slept on and will be tough to slow down for the Celtics.
Boston, meanwhile, has gone undefeated since losing to Philadelphia on opening night. It has been hard for them at the center spot with Enes Kanter missing seven games in a row, but Daniel Theis and Rob Williams have provided them with quality rim protection. They lost Gordon Hayward to a fractured left hand, however, and he’ll be missed. He was off to a tremendous start this year and was proving to be unstoppable as a scorer. It’s time for Jaylen Brown to prove that his contract was worth it.
The Celtics are set as four-point favorites for this home contest against Dallas. The over/under is set at 218.
Continuing To Roll
Doncic has been hitting ridiculous step-back jumpers, pulling in rebounds like a big man, and passing it like Magic Johnson. Doncic has been a triple-double machine and is trying to take over the league before even being allowed to legally sip a beer. Joined by the Latvian Porzingis, the two of them have been terrific. Porzingis missed all of last season recovering from an injury suffered during the 2017-18 season, and his play has them glad they pulled the trigger to bring him aboard and be patient. They have some nice young pieces around them and are hoping to leave Boston happy.
Dallas has not found a solidified starting five, constantly shuffling guards in and out of the lineup. Expect Delon Wright or Jalen Brunson to get the nod next to Luka in this one.
Going For Eight Straight
It was hard to project where Boston would stack up this year after losing Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier and Al Horford and bringing in Kemba Walker. But here they are among the league’s best. On the young season, they rank 12th in points scored and fifth in points allowed, showing they can do it on both ends. Brad Stevens started to get some flack last year, but it is clear he is a tremendous coach, working so well with several moving parts. Winning without the rejuvenated Hayward will be a little tougher, but considering the hand fracture is to his left hand (he’s a righty) and not a lower-body injury, he should be great when he takes the court again.
Defense will be the key in this game, as we will not see much small ball. Expect a heavy dose of Theis covering Porzingis. Kemba is going to look for a big night.
Celtics Get It Done
In what should be an exciting battle, Boston will show the home fans once again that they should never doubt. Take the Celtics.
Free Play: BOS -4
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