The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics will dance at TD Garden on Tuesday night in Boston. The Clippers are looking to respond positively after blowing a nice opportunity to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon. With the game hanging in the balance, the Clippers failed to score down the stretch and lost 105-100 in a poor offensive showing. Their defense came to play, but the Clippers can’t allow that to happen.
Not on a team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the floor together. It had to be more embarrassing than anything for the Clippers. They slipped to 24-12 on the season with the loss. The Clippers are still a major contender, though they can’t go cold for four minutes in a tight game against any team in the league, never mind the Bucks. That’s not going to work in the playoffs. It was a frustrating afternoon in Milwaukee for the Clippers, but their effort defensively should be applauded.
It’s not easy at all slowing down the Bucks’ offense. However, the Clippers did a very nice job of preventing the Bucks from going off. If you were to say before the game that the Clippers were going to hold the Bucks to 105 points, then the consensus would be a big win for the Clippers. That was not obviously the case, and the Clippers are left wondering how they allowed that game to slip away. They can’t wonder too much, though, because the Clippers have a new opponent on Tuesday night.
The Celtics are back-to-back winners against the Indiana Pacers, 118-112, and Washington Wizards, 111-110. This was after the Celtics were on a three-game losing streak and fans were calling for the head of Brad Stevens. Stevens’ job is safe for now, and the Celtics have been banged up for much of the season, so he does get a little leeway. That’s for the moment. If the Celtics are struggling to pull away from the .500 mark in the final month of the season, then it has to at least be discussed. Head below for our free Clippers vs. Celtics pick on March 2, 2021.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics NBA Betting Odds:
Clippers vs. Celtics Prediction:
The Boston Celtics lost Marcus Smart in late January after suffering a calf tear. They’ve been playing without his services for around a month now. His absence on the court is certainly underrated. Smart may not be the most prolific scorer in the league, but his ability defensively cannot be overlooked. The Celtics have still held things together on defense without Smart, but they’re certainly not as strong with him on the shelf. Smart was averaging 13.1 points and 6.1 assists per game before he went down.
Heading into Tuesday night, the Celtics might have to sit down Jaylen Brown because of a banged up knee. He injured it a couple of weeks ago, and it has apparently flared up on him recently. He missed the Wizards game, though the Celtics were able to survive for a one-point win. That’s the Wizards, and this is the Clippers, though. Note that Brown is listed as questionable to play against the Clippers this evening. No Brown against a stingy Clippers’ defense would hurt in this one.
The Celtics have been inconsistent throughout the season offensively, and likely don’t look great in this one. They have scored an average of 110.9 points per game for 22nd in the league. The Wizards have been anemic defensively this season, so finding points against that unit wasn’t much of an issue. However, expect the Celtics to not find an offensive groove against Kawhi and the Clippers’ defense.
The Clippers are fifth in the NBA with 109 points conceded per game. No problem on the road, with an average of 107.3 points allowed this season. After the Clippers went cold offensively against the Bucks, I suspect that they are going to have some motivation to be more efficient offensively. Despite the poor effort, the scoring has generally been in good order for the Clippers. They’re sixth in the NBA with 114.9 points per game.
The Clippers lead the league from downtown, with a three-point percentage of 41.9%. They also lead from the free-throw line with a conversion rate of 84%. Conversely, the Celtics are 22nd in that regard, with a free-throw percentage of 76.6%. In their first meeting this season, the Celtics upset the Clippers on the road, 119-115. However, Paul George was absent in that contest, and I expect the Clippers to be in much better form tonight. I’m on the Clippers to edge away in the final quarter for a 116-107 win at TD Garden.