The Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics meet on Tuesday night at TD Garden for an intriguing West vs. East matchup. The Jazz are coming off a 131-119 loss against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday in San Francisco. It was a sloppy performance by the Jazz. That effort isn’t something we’ve been accustomed to when it comes to them.
They opened the first-half with a 114-99 over the Houston Rockets on Friday. That was a textbook win for the Jazz. All they had to do was go through the motions and a win against the Rockets wasn’t going to be too difficult. However, against a better team like the Warriors, that’s not going to work. The Celtics need a much better second-half than the first stretch of the regular season.
Boston was a major disappointment, and need to focus before falling out of contention in the East. The Celtics went into this season as one of the teams to beat in the conference, but with the Brooklyn Nets much better since then, and still having to deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics are currently a mid-tier operation in the East.
The Celtics are coming off a 134-107 win over the Rockets on Sunday, so the Jazz and Celtics are both on even terms with wins over the Rockets entering tonight. In their return to the court following the All-Star break, the Celtics were 121-109 losers on the road against the Kevin Durant-less Nets. They head into this one Tuesday with a record of 20-18. That’s good for fifth in the East and 6.5 games behind the 76ers.
Despite the loss against the Warriors, the Jazz still own a two-game lead on the Phoenix Suns. Who had the Suns and Jazz as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the West at this point in the season? Crickets. Yeah, that’s what I thought. The Jazz go into Boston with a record of 28-10. This is the second stop on a five-game road trip for the Jazz, who won’t be back home until March 24 for a star-studded matchup against the Nets. Head below for our free Jazz vs. Celtics pick on March 16, 2021.
Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics NBA Betting Odds:
Jazz vs. Celtics Prediction:
The Utah Jazz were the most complete team in the NBA through the first-half. They were capable of beating teams with their offense or lockdown defense. Despite a record of 28-10 and the best record in the NBA, it feels like the Jazz are left still trying to prove people wrong. They certainly aren’t getting attention like other teams that trail the Jazz. I think it’s going to take a deep postseason push for the public to take note. Even if the Jazz continue at this pace in the regular season, no one is going to pay attention and say it’s a fluke.
It’s not fluke. The Jazz are a really well built team with talent on both ends of the floor. Even if they don’t reach the NBA Finals, the Jazz are a really good team. They are loaded with underrated talent, notably Donovan Mitchell who might be the most underrated in the league. Mitchell has recorded 24.8 points and 5.4 assists per game. He’s helped lead the Jazz to 116.6 points per game for third in the NBA.
The Jazz are shooting 46.7% from the field. What’s really helping the Jazz out is their offensive rebounding. Having a presence like Rudy Gobert around the rim helps nicely. The Jazz are second in the league at hauling in offensive boards, and that’s helped the team out immensely. Gobert is also a force on the other end of the floor. The Jazz are fifth in the NBA with 108.2 points conceded per game. They’re top-10 in all defensive stats, including field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and defending rebound is strong as well.
Utah has had no problems against the Celtics in the past. They’re 4-1 ATS against the Celtics in their last five meetings. In their last contest, the Jazz blew the Celtics out by a score of 122-108. That was an easy win for the Jazz on February 9. However, the Celtics are getting healthier, notably the return of Marcus Smart following the All-Star break. Having said that, I think the Celtics are going to be dealing with a motivated Jazz team after being no shows against the Warriors. Expect to see the well-rounded Jazz squad we saw from the first-half in this one at TD Garden.