The Boston Celtics (34-14), the NBA’s top shooting defense, will challenge the Los Angeles Clippers (23-23) at Staples Center. Action starts at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers Free Preview
The Celtics lost a tough one against the Los Angeles Lakers in their last game, 108-107. Kyrie Irving had a good performance for Boston, leading both teams in scoring with 33 points on 13-for-24 shooting. Los Angeles had a free throw rate of 0.231 (above their season average of 0.176). Boston, on the other hand, had a better effective field goal percentage (0.550 vs. 0.478).
In the Clippers last matchup, they were topped by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-118. With 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, Blake Griffin led the way for Los Angeles with his first triple-double of the season. Minnesota did an excellent job of making free throws (33-39; 84.6 percent). Los Angeles, meanwhile, had an effective field goal percentage of 0.613 (above their season average of 0.523).
The physical Los Angeles offense might be getting to the charity stripe a lot in this meeting. The Clippers currently rank fifth in the league with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.225, while Boston ranks 15th in FTA rate allowed (0.194).
Of Boston’s 47 games that accepted bets, 25 have finished under the O/U total, while 26 of Los Angeles 46 games have finished over the O/U total. The Celtics have the superior straight up (SU) record (34-14 vs. 23-23), but both teams have comparable against the spread (ATS) records. Boston is 27-18-2 ATS, while Los Angeles is 25-20-1 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Celtics, it’s been Marcus Morris, who has averaged 13.0 points and 6.2 rebounds, while the Clippers have gotten solid contributions from Lou Williams (27.0 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 steals).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after splitting two games last season. The Clippers won the last game 116-102. The Clippers played a nearly perfect game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 21.1 and a ridiculous free throw rate of 0.397. For those same stats, the Celtics were 15.2 and 0.289, respectively.
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Clippers, ATS Winner – Clippers, O/U – Over
- The Celtics rank second in assists allowed per game (19.9) while the Clippers rank 21st (23.6).
- Boston ranks sixth in three pointers attempted per game (31.6) while Los Angeles ranks 16th in three pointers allowed per game (28.9).
- Los Angeles ranks 16th in points off turnovers per game (16.6) while Boston ranks 29th (14.4).
- Boston is 14-7 ATS on the road, while Los Angeles is 13-11 ATS at home.
- In 21 road games, the Celtics have 12 unders and 9 overs.
- The Clippers have 14 overs, 9 unders and 1 push in 24 home games.
- Los Angeles is 10-2 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Boston is 24-2.
- In games where they score above 100 points, the Celtics are 24-6 and the Clippers are 21-16.
- The Celtics rank 11th in rebounds per game (44.4) while the Clippers rank 22nd in rebounds allowed per game (44.2).
- Los Angeles ranks third in points in the paint per game (49.0) while Boston ranks 29th (39.5).
- The Celtics rank fourth in fast break points allowed per game (9.3) while the Clippers rank last (14.7).
- The Celtics average 11.4 second chance points per game, which ranks 21st in the NBA. The Clippers rank 23rd in second chance points allowed per game (13.4).
- Boston ranks fifth in steals allowed per game (7.0) while Los Angeles ranks 25th (8.4).
- Los Angeles is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Boston is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Clippers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.4, up from 0.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Celtics have scored an average of 101.8 points per game (0.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 103.8 points per game (5.5 above their season average).