Larry's NBA Late-Breaker (8-1, 89% TY!)
- Larry Ness
- Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
- 01/14/2022 07:05 PM
- Bet Type
- Point Spread
Boston Celtics +3.5 (-109)
- My 9* Late-Breaker is on the Bos Celtics at 7:05 ET.
A big criticism of the Celtics this season has been the team's over reliance on the duo of Tatum and Brown but the two All Stars have recently quieted the notion that "they can't play together!" Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 50 points and 27 rebounds in Monday's 101-98 win vs Indiana (Brown had a team-high 26 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds while Tatum added 24 points and 12 boards) and then in Wednesday's rematch, the duo combined for r67 points in the Celtics' 119-100 win at Indiana to complete a home-and-home series sweep of the Pacers. Brown had a game-high 34 points and Tatum chipped in 33.
Boston is just 21-21 on the season, as the Celtics get set to take on the 76ers tonight in Philadelphia. The 76ers had won SEVEN in a row, before suffering a 109-98 home loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. Still, Philadelphia has won EIGHT of its last 10 games, after dropping four of its previous five. The 76ers are 23-17 (current No. 5 seed) but are just 3.5 games ahead of the No. 11 seed (last team left out of the "Play-In" round).
Tatum (25.7 & 8.4) and Brown a (24.5 & 6.6) are the team's 'Dynamic Duo' and the duo has performed like Superheros lately, combining for 50 or more points in three of their past four games and are averaging a combined 51.8 points between them over the last five. Boston is expected to be without guard Smart (11.6-4.0-5.3) for a second straight game but fellow guards Schroder (16.1 & 4.5 APG) and Richardson (10.4) are set to go. So are Horford (10.8 & 7.5) and Robert Williams (9.8 & 9.0), who are both solid big men.
Philly center Joel Embiid (27.1-10.4-4.3) enters this contest having scored exactly 31 points in each of his last five games. The four-time All-Star center has been the 76ers' top point producer in 11 consecutive games, scoring fewer than 31 points just once during that stretch (23 vs Atlanta on Dec 23). PF Harris (18.4 & 7.5) is a great "No. 2 " plus the 76ers have excellent depth, despite Simmons not playing all season and with Melton (10.5) and Green (6.7) currently sidelined. PG Maxey (16.6-3.5-4.4) has had a solid season, with Curry chipping in 16.2 PPG and Korkmaz 9.3 PPG. The 6-7 Niang (9.9) and backup center Drummond (averaging 9.1 RPG in just 19 minutes), round out the main contributors.
Here's the bottom line. The synchronized production of Tatum and Brown (see above) plus, to the delight of defensive-minded coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics have stepped up their effort on the defensive end as of late. Boston has held opponents to an average of 96 points over its last five games. I'm taking the points.