The Celtics and Pelicans face off tonight with matching 10-10 records. Both teams have had ups and downs to the season and are on a bit of a slump right now. The Celtics have lost 3 of their last 4 games including their last game at home to the Mavericks. The Pelicans have lost their last 3 in a row but will be getting a boost with Anthony Davis returning tonight. The Pelicans surrendered 70 points in the paint without Davis in their last game. I think the reports of the Celtics demise so far are greatly exaggerated. A lot of it has to do with them starting off last year so well. I believe in Brad Stevens coaching ability and I think the Celtics will improve as the year progresses. In doing so, I think they win tonight on the road.
I expect the Celtics to be focused on the road tonight. The Pelicans do not have the greatest home court advantage and have not played any great teams at home thus far. I don’t think they will have everything together in their first home game after losing all of their games in their recent road trip. The Pelicans do not have the same depth or talent the Celtics have. Other than Anthony Davis there is a steep decline in the talent surrounding him. Despite their struggles the Celtics are a much better defensive team than the Pelicans and I expect that to be the difference tonight.
Just like every night in the NBA, this line has a lot to do with public perception. Right now the Celtics struggles are dominating the news cycle because because of the sports media’s east coast bias. That also factors in to them being underdogs. This is a game I see them winning and shutting down the Pelicans. Anthony Davis may have a good game but the rest of the team should struggle.