Clippers vs. Celtics Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Los Angeles Clippers will play their fourth consecutive road game when they travel to Boston to take on the Celtics on Thursday night.
The Clippers have played some great basketball on this road trip, winning two of three games. Additionally, Los Angeles has won seven of its past ten and is in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 21-15 record.
Meanwhile, Boston has played tremendous basketball all season long and is 25-10, tops in the Eastern Conference.
Both Boston and Los Angeles have been playing well, but will the Clippers be able to stay hot as they approach the end of this long road trip or will the Celtics continue to prove why they are the best team in the NBA?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers have been on a tear of late and have been dominating Eastern Conference opponents.
According to TeamRankings, the Clippers have played 14 games against teams from the East and are 10-4 in those contests. That is a significant difference from their 11-11 record against Western Conference foes.
Additionally, the Clippers own a 112.9 Offensive Rating against the East this season, compared to a 107.5 mark against Western Conference opponents. That margin is likely due to the fact that LA is shooting a tremendous 39.6% from behind the arc against Eastern Conference opponents this year, first in the NBA.
The most impressive aspect of the Clippers game has been their play on the defensive end of the floor. NBA.com has the Clippers ranked third in the NBA in Defensive Rating at 109.3, a rating that suggests they should be able to hold the league’s best offense in check.
The Boston Celtics had redemption on their mind coming into the season after losing in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. As we approach the halfway mark, it appears the Celtics are well on their way to having the opportunity to avenge that series loss.
NBA.com has the Celtics ranked first in the NBA in Offensive Rating this season at 117.4. That is more than one full point ahead of the second-place Suns and nearly a four-point improvement from Boston’s 113.6 rating from a season ago.
There was no question this team would be one of the better scoring attacks in the league, but after the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka there were some questions about whether Boston would be as productive on the defensive end of the floor.
Boston posted the best Defensive Rating in the NBA (106.2) last season, but ranked ranked 20th in the NBA in that category (112.4) at the end of November this season. However, during the month of December the Celtics have improved their Defensive Rating to 107.0, which ranks second in the NBA this month. This team may have finally gone back to its defensive roots.
Improving on the defensive end was a must if Boston wanted to make it back to the Finals, and now that they have done it, the Celtics are clearly one of the most well-rounded teams we’ve seen over the past few seasons.
Boston has proven to be quite the headache for many opponents, but if there is one team built to stop the Celtics, it’s the Clippers.
We’ve already seen the Clippers take down the Celtics once this season, winning 113-93. In that game, the Celtics were limited to shooting just 43% from the floor and 23% from behind the arc.
I’ve already mentioned LA’s 10-4 record against Eastern Conference opponents, but when you factor in that they are 9-5 against the spread in those games, 10-8 ATS on the road and don’t have anyone listed on the injury report, it only further points to the Clippers staying competitive in this game. I would play the spread down to 4.5.
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