NBA Picks – Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets

By Betmaker Team

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference will square off on Thursday night in the Big Apple when the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics. Brooklyn has been on a tear after a 9-11 start to the season. The Nets have won 18 of their last 20 games, and that has the Nets within 1.5 games of the Celtics. However, one of their two losses during this run came against the Celtics back on December 4.


There is no NBA betting line available yet for the nationally televised game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics. Brooklyn has three days off prior to this showdown so the Nets will certainly have a rest advantage over Boston as the Celtics will face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. The Nets and Celtics will square off on Thursday, January 12, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.


Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook

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Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Preview


After an offseason of speculation regarding whether or not the Brooklyn Nets would blow it up, the Nets have decided to focus on their strengths and how good they can be with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving operating at 100%. Durant was garnering a lot of MVP consideration while averaging 29.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 5.3 APG, and he was making 55.9% of his field goals and 93.4% of his free throws.



Unfortunately, Durant was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his right knee yesterday after leaving the game against Miami on Sunday with an injury. He is expected to miss at least a month, so he will be unavailable for this showdown with Boston. That will put a lot of pressure on Irving to beat his former team, but he hasn’t had much success against the Celtics.


Irving is averaging 26.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.7 APG this season. He has been very efficient, hitting 48.8% of his field goals and 90.7% of his free throws, but he has only been an average three-point shooter. Still, he will have to take ownership of the team over the next month with Durant out, and it will be interesting to see how they perform.


Nic Claxton will also be asked to step up to help with the rebounding. He is averaging 11.9 PPG and 8.3 RPG, and he leads the league by making 73.8% of his field goals. Claxton clearly needs to shoot more in Durant’s absence, so that percentage should go down while his scoring goes up. It’s fortunate that T.J. Warren was able to return from injury at this point too, as he will also provide some size. Warren is averaging 9.9 PPG while making 53.7% of his field goals.


Boston was disappointing in last year’s NBA Finals, but the Celtics have overcome some adversity to bounce back and look like a strong contender this season. Jayson Tatum continues to develop as a go-to player in the low post, averaging 30.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 4.2 APG. Tatum is making 47.2% of his field goals and 86% of his free throws, and we have seen him average 35% from beyond the arc while averaging more than nine three-pointers a game.


Jaylen Brown is having a nice year too. Brown is averaging 26.8 PPG and 6.9 RPG, and he is making 49.2% of his field goals. However, he is turning the ball over a little more than he should, and he is only hitting 32.5% of his perimeter shots. Fortunately, Malcolm Brogdon has helped in both departments. Brogdon is averaging 13.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG, and he is making over 44% of his treys.


Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Prediction


Although the initial inclination is to go with Boston here given the absence of Durant, Brooklyn is going to have a significant rest advantage and that should be able to lead them to a victory. The Nets will have fresh legs and home court advantage, and they have perimeter players that can break down the Celtics defense. In particular, Ben Simmons and Seth Curry could have nice nights in a Nets win.