Boston Celtics (35-14) at Golden State Warriors (39-10)
Meta Description: The two best teams in the NBA will meet up today in what could very well be a preview of the finals when the Celtics play at the Warriors.
Last night was a brutal way to lose. We backed the Indiana Pacers on the road against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers had the game covered with just over a minute left on the clock when the score was 111-106, and they were getting six points.
The last minute didn’t go our way, and we came up a point short as the Cavs won 115-108. Losing by one point at the buzzer is always a tough pill to swallow, but the Cavs looked as dysfunctional down the stretch as they have all month, as they had a giant lead evaporate late, once again.
It didn’t break our way, but I will still continue to monitor this Cavs team very closely. They didn’t show me anything last night that tells me they have figured this rotation out yet, so I will still look for opportunities to fade them. Today I will break down a blockbuster matchup between the NBA’s two best teams when the Boston Celtics play the Golden State Warriors.
The Boston Celtics will continue their west coast road trip tonight when they play at the defending champion Golden State Warriors. This could very well be a preview of the NBA Finals as right now these are the top two teams in each conference. The Celtics have been struggling a bit as of late as they dropped four straight games before recovering and winning in their last game, on the road, against the Clippers.
The Warriors look to be every bit as good as advertised this season as they have the NBA’s best record and have really turned it up so far in 2018 with a 10-2 record in the New Year. The Warriors are- 10-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 219.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM PST from Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The Boston Celtics hit a bit of a rough patch last week. After reeling off seven straight wins, they dropped four straight games against some very average at best competition. These types of peaks and valleys happen in the NBA, especially when great teams are playing lesser teams. It is hard to give an all-out effort every night against some bad teams, especially when you are running away with the number one seed in the conference, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are free falling out of the race.
I am not going to give Boston a pass on those bad efforts, but they were understandable, and I don’t think they were a sign of anything more than a team playing out the dog days of January. I expect the Celtics will have no trouble getting up tonight for a matchup with the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors started the season out a little slow, but they have really dialed up the intensity recently and are the class of the NBA once again. They have the best roster in the league by a wide margin, and if they stay healthy, I am not sure if any team has a real shot at beating them in a seven-game series. They are just too talented.
The fact that they dropped a couple games early in the year has really taken the pressure off of them to win 70+ games, and you can see that this team is playing carefree at the moment. But are they more than ten points better than the second-best team in the league, the Boston Celtics? We will find out tonight.
Playing on the road against the Golden State Warriors is the toughest task you can be assigned this year. The Warriors are the best team, and they are very good at home. But they aren’t quite as good at home this year as they have been in recent seasons. The Warriors have been the best home team in the league the last several years, but this season they have let their guard down some and are just 18-6 at Oracle Arena.
It’s not that 18-6 is a bad record, it is a really good one. But their 18 home wins has them tied with the Denver Nuggets, the Houston Rockets, the OKC Thunder, and the Boston Celtics. And they have a worse home record than both the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
So, while the Warriors are very good at home, they are no longer elite on their home court, just very good. This keeps the door cracked just ever so slightly for a team to come in and keep a game competitive. And that is all the Celtics will have to do tonight to cover, keep the game competitive.
I hate to bet against the Golden State Warriors this year. They are clearly the best team in the NBA. But if I get the chance to back the Boston Celtics getting ten points I am going to take it every time, on any floor.
The Celtics should be well rested after taking the last two nights off, and I would expect them to be pumped up playing against the defending champs. I am going to take the handful of points and just hope they can hang with Golden State tonight.
Give me the Boston Celtics on the road getting double digits at +10 points.