The second half of the NBA season gets underway this Thursday with a slate of games including a key Eastern Conference matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET on TNT. The Celtics are currently sixth in the East coming out of the break, while Brooklyn is in eighth place after losing 12 of their last 14 games.
The Nets (31-28 SU, 23-34-2 ATS) were the title favorites for most of the season, but they now find themselves in a third-place tie with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks at +600. Despite having the better record and a much healthier lineup, the Celtics (34-26 SU, 30-29-1 ATS) are well behind Brooklyn and the other top contenders at +2800. Boston comes into this contest as 6.5-point favorites with a total of 213.
Brooklyn’s level of play has picked up since they sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline. Ben Simmons was dealt to the Nets, but has yet to make his team debut – and might wait until they visit Philadelphia on March 10. Seth Curry and Andre Drummond have stabilized their injury-plagued roster somewhat. Kevin Durant (knee) isn’t expected back until mid-March, and Kyrie Irving still isn’t allowed to play in New York City, although that could change at any time.
Jay’s Pick: The Nets are a mess right now and Boston is rolling on the road. The Celtics have won five games in a row away from home and the last three by 30+ points.
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