The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for rallying Dallas Mavericks’ home clash with floundering Boston Celtics.
11:30 (AEDT), Wed 24th Feb @ American Airlines Arena, Dallas
History: Played 78: Celtics 42 V Mavericks 36
Last meeting: December 18, 2019: Celtics 109 d Mavericks 103 at American Airlines Arena
Final thoughts: Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics square off for the first time in more than 14 months. Both sides are hovering around the .500 mark at present and desperate to pick up some pre-All Stars momentum.
The 14-15 Mavericks have started to turn things around in recent weeks, however, winning five of their last six. After enduring an eight-day break due to extreme weather in Texas, the Mavs returned yesterday with a 102-92 home win over the Grizzlies.
Tim Hardaway (29 pts) top-scored off the bench, while Luka Doncic (who scored 42-plus in three of his previous five games) had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Jalen Brunson (19 pts, 7 reb) was also solid from the bench.
Kristaps Porzingis missed the game as has been listed as questionable to take on Boston. The big man has been key to Dallas’ mini-revival, averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds after an injury-delayed start to the season. Josh Richardson has also added plenty to the Mavs’ defence.
The 15-15 Celtics are sixth in the East but have won just four of their last 11. They haven’t won back-to-back games since January 25 and are coming off a 120-115 overtime loss to the Pelicans two days ago.
Jayson Tatum had 32 points and 9 assists, but the only post-game story was the Celtics blowing a 24-point second-half lead. The Celtics shot just 10 of 37 from three-point range and less than 40 percent from the field.
Kemba Walker – such a strong influence last season – continues to struggle, shooting at 37.1 percent from his last 15 games. The acquisition of veteran guard Jeff Teague has proven an abject failure.
The Celtics have won seven of their last eight against the Mavs. Kemba Walker was integral to Boston’s wins at home (116-106) and away (109-103) last season, scoring 61 points across the two games.
Dallas are 1-4 when on back-to-back duty this season. They are also just 7-8 at home and have a 12-17 cover record – 27th in the NBA. Meanwhile, Boston are 15-15 ATS but have covered in just six of their 17 away games.
It’s hard to go past the underdog Mavericks’ value in this one against the badly out of sorts Celtics.
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Orlando Magic V Detroit Pistons||Handicap – Magic -3.5 @ $1.87|
|Cleveland Cavaliers V Atlanta Hawks||Handicap – Cavaliers +7.5 @ $1.87|
|Toronto Raptors V Philadelphia 76ers||Result – 76ers @ $1.78|
|New York Knicks V Golden State Warriors||Handicap – Warriors -3 @ $1.90|
|Brooklyn Nets V Sacramento Kings||Total – Over 242.5 @ $1.87|
|Milwaukee Bucks V Minnesota Timberwolves||Handicap – Bucks -10.5 @ $1.90|
|LA Clippers V Washington Wizards||Handicap – Wizards +12 @ $ 1.90|
|Denver Nuggets V Portland Trail Blazers||Handicap – Nuggets -6.5 @ $1.93|