The Boston backcourt is thin tonight, with both Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon set to miss tonight’s game in Orlando, but it’s cliche time for Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla.
Next man up.
Star forward Jayson Tatum sat out on Saturday night, resting his dinged-up left wrist, but the Celtics rallied on the road in Toronto, securing their ninth straight win, but Tatum will be back tonight and should take on a point-forward role with Smart and Brogdon sidelined.
Celtics vs. Magic Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication
Celtics vs. Magic Best Bets
Celtics -7.5 (-110, FanDuel)
Boston won’t sleepwalk into this matchup against the Magic after Orlando beat Boston twice in three days back in December. Jayson Tatum missed the second matchup, a 95-92 Orlando victory, and based on previous games where Smart and Brogdon were out, he’ll be asked to carry more of a facilitator role tonight for Boston’s offense. The defense that Smart and Brogdon provide will be missed, but getting the ball into Tatum’s hands more and earlier in a possession is not a bad thing. For comparison, Tatum averages 4.1 assists per game when Smart is in the lineup versus 5.7 per game in the six games he’s played without Smart this season.
Orlando is a young team still trying to find more consistency on the defensive end. They’re coming off a 138-118 loss to the 20-26 Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Even without their best frontcourt players, Boston will be too much in this spot. I’ll lay the points.
Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit. (Playable to -115)
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